Credit @ bdd4evr
Summarize : JJ's critically hurt and Emily passes the hours waiting for the woman she loves to wake up by recounting their life together. Mostly T but some chapters will be rated M - will warn. Femslash - Emily/JJ. Chapter 32 is up - Please read and review
AN1: This story is based on characters from Criminal Minds. I do not make any claims to have created them but I do enjoy writing them.
AN2: I'm planning on this being a rather long story. JJ's critically hurt and Emily passes the hours waiting for the woman she loves to wake up by recounting their life together. The story will toggle from the present to the past. I hope that isn't too confusing.
AN3: The story is rated M but not all chapters will be M. I will try to remember to warn you when I've turned up the heat.
The consistent sound of the ventilator was starting to drive Emily Prentiss crazy. Though she knew that it meant life for the woman lying in the bed before her, she wasn't sure if she was strong enough to continue listening to it. She'd been sitting in this same room listening to the rhythmic whooshing sound over and over for the past 6 hours. As she was watching the now familiar white, accordion shaped, air bag compress and expand over and over again, she found herself reminded of the song "Machinehead" by the band Bush. She kept hearing Gavin Rossdale's voice singing the familiar refrain in her head.
"Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out." she whispered her plea to the patient before her. "It's okay to let the machine work for you right now, Jareau, but I expect you to stop this bullshit sometime soon. We have a life to lead and a son that needs you. I need you."
Jareau was one Jennifer "JJ" Jareau, Emily's wife and the mother of their infant son, Henry. Both Emily and JJ were Supervisory Special Agents for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit in Quantico, VA. Emily was one of the unit's profilers and JJ the unit's press liaison. The two women worked and lived together, spending almost every waking hour with one another. While most couples, no matter how much they loved each other, would end up suffocating under the constant presence of their partner, Emily and JJ wouldn't have it any other way. That's why Emily sat here now in this Minneapolis hospital holding the hand of the woman she loved, listening to the ventilator help JJ breathe, watching JJ's life displayed in the many machines that kept track of JJ's vital statistics, willing JJ to wake up.
Emily couldn't help but remember the last time she was in a hospital room with JJ. The circumstance was a much happier one, as it had been the day their son was born. Thoughts of Henry played in the profiler's mind. The little boy looked so much like JJ she would melt every time her son looked at her with the same bright blue eyes that he shared with his mother. She sighed as she thought about him having to spend extra time with Amanda, the live-in nanny they had hired to look after him. The two agents were gone so often it was really their only choice once it had been decided that JJ would return to work rather than be a stay-at-home mom. It's not what JJ wanted and Emily felt that was JJ's decision to make. Which is not to say they hadn't argued about it.
She knew she needed to leave JJ's side if only for a few minutes to check on their son but she was afraid once she left JJ would wake up and find herself alone. As much as Emily wanted JJ to regain consciousness, she didn't want her to be alone when it happened. Emily had decided to go make the necessary phone call when her friend Penelope Garcia walked into JJ's room.
Garcia, as the team affectionately calls her, was the BAU's technical analyst and JJ's best friend. She was JJ's maid-of-honor at their wedding and godmother to their son. Emily immediately realized that their Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner must have arranged to fly Garcia in from headquarters for moral support. That and Garcia would have gone crazy, and thusly made Hotch crazy, waiting to hear updates on JJ's status back in Quantico. Hotch knew how much the blonde media liaison meant to the computer wiz and Emily was grateful to have Garcia to lean on. Yes the rest of her team was here too but Garcia was the one person she wanted to be here the most.
"Oh my sweet girl!" exclaimed the zaftig blonde woman, going pale and tears welling in her eyes at the sight of JJ lying in a hospital bed, hooked to a ventilator with what appeared to be dozens of tubes connected to her body. Surrounded by all these machines, JJ looked tiny and certainly didn't give off the appearance of the tough FBI agent that she actually was.
Emily stood up and hugged their friend without letting go of JJ's hand. She didn't want to lose contact with her wife even if it was to comfort someone so important to the two of them. Garcia had always been supportive of their relationship, JJ having told Garcia about them right after their first date, so it was no surprise that she would be here now. Emily was just sorry that Garcia had to make the trip for this reason and that she had to see her best friend like this.
"Has she improved at all, Em?"
"She's about the same since they moved her to her room. The doctors don't really expect much of an improvement for the next 24 to 48 hours. That's a long time from now and this has already been a hell of a long day. Five hours of surgery, 12 hours of recovery." replied Emily retaking her seat at JJ's side. "At least now that she's in her own room I can sit with her. I'm just not sure if I'm going to make it through this."
"You will. You have to. For both of you. For Henry. Speaking of which, I called Amanda right after it happened so she didn't see it on the news. It's all over the place, Em. It's big news when an agent gets shot, especially on live TV. Henry's fine. Amanda is making sure he doesn't see any of the footage. He may only be 5 months old but he still doesn't need to see his mom getting shot."
"No, you're right about that. He doesn't. I was actually just telling myself I needed to call Amanda and check on him when you walked in but I didn't want to leave JJ. Thanks for taking care of that for me."
"Em, Amanda says she loves you two and hopes that JJ will be home soon. She's been trying to call you but it's going straight to voicemail." Garcia said
"I shut off my phone. I didn't want to have it go off when JJ's surrounded by these machines. Plus I really don't want to hear from my mother or hers for that matter." Emily stated. "Mrs. Jareau means well but she just doesn't get JJ. And you know she's not my biggest fan. I'm sure Hotch called her and I expect to see her here any moment now. It's been almost 24 hours since JJ got shot." Emily continued with a quick glance of the clock hanging on the wall.
Emily's whole life had changed about 24 hours before. The team was in Minneapolis looking for an unsub that was targeting blonde-haired, blue-eyed women in their mid- twenties to early-thirties. Emily had noticed at JJ's initial presentation in their conference room, how remarkably the unsub's seven victims resembled the woman standing before her. She had made a mental note to keep a close watch on her wife while they worked on this case. Hotch understood Emily's concern and had paired the two women together, knowing that if Emily could keep an eye on JJ, Emily would be better able to focus. Not that she would have been sub-par if she weren't with JJ, that was not something Agent Prentiss was capable of, but she would be more at ease knowing that JJ was safe.
So when JJ was standing at the temporary dais that the Minneapolis Police Department had placed on the steps in front of their station, telling the local media about the person they were seeking in the murders of these women, Emily was watching. Emily was always a little awed by the way JJ controlled her press conferences. She knew she could never be as relaxed as JJ was given both the circumstances of the press conference and the questions being hurled at her in such a rapid-fire manner. JJ stood at the podium in her crisp white shirt and black slacks, blond hair falling about her shoulders, taking question after question without even breaking a sweat. Emily thought JJ was the most beautiful woman she had ever seen and she still couldn't believe that this was the person that she shared her life with.
Emily was watching her lover proudly when all of a sudden JJ paused. This strange look appeared to overtake JJ's face, a combination of shock and pain. Emily's eyes narrowed wondering what was wrong when she noticed a bright red spot start to appear on JJ's white shirt, just above her right breast. Emily watched JJ look down at the spot that was starting to get bigger then look up to meet Emily's eyes before collapsing on the steps she was standing on. Emily pushed her way through the crowd yelling at people to get the hell out of her way. By the time Emily was able to get to her wife, JJ was losing a lot of blood despite the efforts of Hotch, who had been standing about 10 feet away from the liaison, to try to stop it by putting pressure over the chest wound Emily could hear taking in air. Emily had never seen such fear in JJ's eyes as she reached….
Emily was snapped out of her thoughts of that horrible morning when Garcia placed her hand on Emily's shoulder.
"What? I'm sorry. I was just remembering how this whole mess started. Did you ask me something?"
"Yes. I asked how you were doing? I'm worried about you."
"Thanks but I'm more worried about JJ. And Henry. I've just been sitting here, holding her hand, thinking about our life. Trying to remember the way she says my name, the way she laughs, how much she loves our son, how much she loves me. I can't stand seeing her this way and I'd give anything to switch places with her."
Emily looked up at Garcia who now had tears running down her face unafraid to show the emotional toll this was taking on her. Garcia could only imagine how devastating this was for Emily. She knew how much her friends loved each other. And she knew that, if JJ died, Emily would be left a shattered mess. Garcia just prayed that didn't happen.
Emily, seeing her friend crying, stood up a second time and hugged her friend, again never releasing the hold she had on JJ's hand.
"I don't think have any tears left, Pen. I feel like I've been crying forever."
Just as Emily said that, JJ's cardiovascular surgeon, Dr. Neil Harden, came in followed closely by Aaron Hotchner and JJ's mother, Donna Jareau. The sight of her only daughter lying so helplessly in her bed staggered Mrs. Jareau and Hotch placed a hand on her elbow to help steady her. Donna looked at Emily and gave her a polite smile before heading to the other side of JJ's bed and taking JJ's other hand. Emily winced at the sight of Hotch's shirt. He had blood, JJ's blood, down the front and both cuffs, though they were rolled up, were tinged dark concealing the blood that was on those as well.
"The nurses in the monitoring station say that Agent Jareau's vitals have remained relatively stable. That's good news. Mrs. Jareau wanted to me explain what we should expect over the next few days so I thought I would come in and talk to all parties involved." Dr Harden explained. Dr. Harden knew of the relationship between the two agents and was not going to keep Emily out of the loop. That and he knew that Agent Prentiss held Agent Jareau's advance medical directive and power of attorney allowing her to make any necessary medical decisions on the other woman's behalf.
"Agent Jareau…" he continued
"JJ" Emily interrupted. "I'm sorry but can you please call her JJ."
"Very well, JJ has suffered a tremendous amount of trauma but she is relatively lucky. I say that only because I have seen much worse damage done by bullets. It nicked her right lung but missed the major blood vessel that lies right there that supplies blood to her heart. If it had hit the Superior Vena Cava, we wouldn't be standing here in this room right now. The bullet also exited cleanly without bouncing around inside of her doing further damage. It did fracture her left scapula as it exited but missed her spinal column."
Emily looked over at Garcia and noticed she subconsciously had her hand placed over the scar that remained from her own bullet wound and brush with death. Emily gently placed her hand over Garcia's to provide a little comfort to her blonde friend.
"So what's next, Dr. Harden?" asked Hotch
"Well, although JJ has been very lucky to this point, she was shot and has suffered damage to her right lung. The ventilator will help her breathe. We drained the blood that had been filling her lung and were able to repair a great deal of the damage during surgery but she would not be able to breathe on her own at this point. Her lung capacity is only at about 25-30% right now. But she does appear to be getting stronger which is a good sign. If she continues to improve, we will be able to remove the vent, even if she hasn't regained consciousness."
"Do you think that will happen, doctor?" asked Donna Jareau
"I'm optimistic that it will. There are no guarantees but she is doing about as well or maybe even better as anybody else I've ever seen that's been shot in the chest. She's young, strong, and incredibly healthy so that works in her favor too. But I don't know when that will happen. Today? Tomorrow? The day after? No one but the good man upstairs knows the answer to that question." the doctor answered.
"What can we do in the meantime?" asked Emily trying to find hope in the doctor's answers.
"Do what you've been doing, Agent Prentiss. Sit by her side, pray, talk to her. It's been my experience that the ones that make it are the ones that have the most to live for."
"Do you think she can hear me?" asked the dark-haired women
"Yes I do." replied the surgeon. He'd been doing this for a long time and many of his patients, once they had regained consciousness had told him the sound of their loved ones voices kept them alive.
"You two have a son together, right?" asked the doctor
"Then talk to her about Henry. About your life together. I assure you it will help. Now if you will excuse me, I have surgery scheduled to begin in about an hour. I'll be back to check on Agen…on JJ, later this afternoon."
They all thanked the surgeon for his time and watched him leave. Hotch and Garcia left to go give the rest of the team an update on JJ's condition leaving Emily in the room by herself with JJ's mother.
Ignoring the other woman, Emily stood up and kissed her wife gently on her forehead.
"See that baby, the doctor is optimistic and so am I. I know you will recover from this, Jareau. You have to. He says you can hear me so I'm going to remind you that I love you very much. That your son does too. He's doing okay, Jayj. Garcia checked with Amanda and he's fine." Emily said, tears that she thought she no longer had forming in her eyes. "I love you so much, sweetheart."
"Keep telling her that, Emily." JJ's mom said.
Emily looked up at the older blond woman more that a little shocked that she would encourage Emily to do so. To say that Donna Jareau was unsupportive of the relationship that Emily shared with her daughter would be an understatement. Donna had an extremely hard time accepting the fact that her daughter was involved in a gay relationship. She had an even harder time with it than Emily's own mother, which was really saying something.
"Don't be so surprised, Emily. I know how my daughter feels about you. Yes I am still having a hard time dealing with it but it doesn't mean that I don't know that JJ loves you very much. What is most important to me right now is her health. And if you talking to her and reminding her of your life together will help get her through this, well then that's all that matters."
"I have to say it makes me happy to hear you say that. It's all that matters to me too, Donna. I do love your daughter more than anything, except maybe our son but it's a really close race between those two. And I will sit here and talk to her until she wakes up even if it takes days. She means everything to me and…" Emily's tears finally won the battle they were fighting and she couldn't contain them anymore.
Donna Jareau moved over to the other side of JJ's bed and wrapped Emily in a warm embrace. She knew that Emily loved her daughter but, until this very moment, she didn't really know how much. Emily finally released the hand she had been holding for hours to hug JJ's mom, sobbing into the older woman's shoulder. Donna patted Emily's back and smoothed her hair while shedding her own tears. After a few minutes, Donna could tell that Emily was starting to compose herself again and she gently broke away from the embrace to look Emily in the eye.
"I'm going to go sit in that chair over by the window and I want you to talk to my daughter. I can't leave her but I want you to pretend that I'm not here. You are the only one that she'd want to hear from right now. You remind her of what's she's missing and what she needs to get back to." Donna told Emily honestly.
"Thank you, Donna. It means the world to me to have you realize that. I'm going to sit in this chair and talk to her. I'm going to tell her a story….the story of us."
After watching Donna Jareau take a seat in the chair that looked out of the window in JJ's hospital room, Emily resumed her position in the chair next to JJ's bed and took JJ's hand again. She told Donna she would tell JJ about their story, the story of how Emily and JJ came to be. And she would continue to talk to her and tell her stories until JJ finally woke up from this terrible nightmare. Emily didn't know where to begin so she decided to start with the first time she saw the beautiful blonde.
Emily couldn't have been more excited to find out she had been assigned to the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit. It had been her dream since she first decided that she was going to join the FBI right out of Yale. Her mother, Ambassador Elizabeth Prentiss, wasn't very happy with the choice her daughter had made but that wasn't surprising since the Ambassador was hardly ever happy with any of Emily's choices.
Emily's first day enthusiasm, however, had been tempered by the reaction to her arrival by the BAU's Unit Chief Aaron Hotchner. She knew Hotchner from when he ran security clearances for her mother before she had gone to college but, although he recognized her from back then, he appeared to have no idea she had been assigned to his unit. He was polite in his dismissal but it left her both confused and a little hurt. It was during this meeting with Hotch that she first laid eyes on the woman that would one day become her wife. This blur of blond hair whisked into the unit chief's office to let him know the team was ready for their briefing.
After Emily had convinced Hotch to give her a chance and she officially joined the team, it was the blond haired blur that gave Emily her orientation to the team's procedures and protocols. Emily could still remember the first words ever spoken to her by the woman she would eventually marry:
"I'm SSA Jennifer Jareau, the unit's press liaison. Everybody calls me JJ." she said with the most dazzling smile Emily had ever seen as she reached out to shake Emily's hand.
Emily already knew working with this woman was going to be the death of her. Since joining the FBI 10-years earlier, Emily love life had certainly paid the price. With the long hours and commitment the Bureau required, finding time to date had been a challenge. But when she did find herself attracted to someone, that someone was always blond haired, blue eyed, and female. She also couldn't help but notice that JJ had a rather nice figure too. However, Emily was nothing if not professional so she tried to push those thoughts out of her mind and focus on the bureaucratic drivel that JJ had to impart to her. God, she even made this boring stuff interesting. Yes, indeed, Jennifer Jareau was going to cause many, many problems for the dark haired agent.
She and JJ became relatively fast friends. JJ had an innate ability to make people around her comfortable. And because JJ was best friends with the team's technical analyst, Penelope Garcia, Emily had quickly accepted Garcia's friendship as well. The three were the only female members of this unit and they protected one another. Emily loved that the three of them had an easy friendship. Most of the women she'd encountered since joining the Bureau were competitive, catty, petty or just plain bitchy. But not these two women, these two were different. They were each other's touchstone, each other's lifeline and they had happily let Emily into their alliance. JJ had eventually let it slip to Emily that the agent she had replaced, Elle Greenaway, wasn't very friendly with the two blondes and so Emily was a breath of fresh air as far as both JJ and Garcia were concerned. Emily couldn't imagine not liking these two women but she believed JJ's account of Elle.
The closer she got to the two women the more Emily found herself wanting to protect them both, especially the younger blonde. And that thought was never more present than when fellow profiler Derek Morgan was arrested while visiting his family in Chicago. As the team worked to prove Morgan's innocence, they had uncovered a hidden secret about his childhood. Emily realized she would do anything to protect JJ should the young woman ever be in the same situation. Emily, of course, hoped that would never happen but she knew she would always be there for JJ if it did.
It was when Emily was in Golconda, Nevada hunting for the most prolific serial killer the team had ever encountered, that Emily realized how attached – and attracted – she was to her friend. The team had left JJ and Garcia back in Quantico while they flew out West. Though Emily was busy trying to break this case before another body was found, the fact that JJ wasn't with her left her feeling rather lost. When the team broke for the day and went back to their respective motel rooms, Emily found herself thinking of nothing but JJ. Normally when they went back to their rooms, Emily would read over her notes and the case files. But alone in that motel room, no matter how hard she tried to focus on the case they were working on, JJ's face kept popping up in Emily's mind.
At first she figured that she missed her friend and the easy banter that they shared. Emily soon realized that it was more than that when she started to feel a longing for her friend in a most unexpected area. Emily was gay, and yes she knew at first she had a strong physical attraction to her young co-worker, but she thought that she had successfully removed those thoughts from her brain when she and JJ had become close friends. She had been attracted to friends before but not friends that she had to work so closely with. This was not a good idea in her head. Before Emily did something she felt would have been totally inappropriate considering where she was, Emily took a cold shower to relieve the tension that was starting to build deep inside of her.
Once they returned from Nevada, Emily and the rest of the team were given a couple of days off. Emily was actually happy for the extra time to sort through the thoughts that she had been having about JJ – to compartmentalize them. It's what Emily always did to help her work through any difficult situation she found herself in. She had really missed JJ while she was out of town but after what she had started to feel in that motel room, she figured the time away from her was for the best. She had just returned from a run and was thinking about hopping in the shower, when there was a knock on her door.
Emily looked through her peephole to find JJ on the other side. She opened the door, not able to hide the wide smile that spread across her face. JJ flashed Emily a smile that made her heart skipped a beat. Holding a bottle of wine in one hand and a brown paper bag from its handles in the other, JJ canted her head to one side and said to Emily
Emily's heart was singing at the sight of the woman who had dominated her thoughts over the last few days.
"As a matter of fact, I did." replied Emily happily, letting JJ into her home.
"I missed you too." JJ said reaching around and giving Emily a hug despite her hands being full.
"I just got back from a run, JJ. I really need a shower."
JJ didn't seem to care as she wrapped her arms around her friend, holding the embrace for a good minute. Feeling JJ's strong arms around her, smelling her citrus scented shampoo was doing a number on Emily and she realized she needed a shower – a cold one - for more reasons that just the run she had returned from. She began to wonder if JJ was doing this to her on purpose?
"Why don't you make yourself at home while I run upstairs and get in the shower. Then we can break open that wine you have in your hand and whatever you have in that little brown bag" Emily said really wanting to get away from her friend to compose herself before JJ could read her feelings on her face. Though she wasn't a profiler, JJ was a smart woman and she had certainly picked up a lot just constantly being surrounded by them.
"Sounds good, Em."
After Emily was upstairs and in the shower, all she could think about was the blonde downstairs. Emily hadn't failed to notice the tight blue jeans and snug fitting sweater her friend had shown up in. Emily's body was humming and the familiar yearning she'd been struggling with for the past few days had returned with a vengeance. Tonight might very well be the night that JJ finally succeeded in killing her. After her shower, Emily threw on a clean pair of loose fitting sweats and a Yale t-shirt and went back downstairs.
She found JJ in her kitchen. This was not the first time JJ had been to her condo so she knew where to find the things she needed to prepare a nice spread for her and Emily. JJ had found the corkscrew to open the bottle of Merlot she had brought allowing it to breathe. Emily allowed herself to watch JJ as she was in the process of setting out a plate of cheese, crackers, grapes, and apples. JJ was sashaying to whatever song was playing in her head and Emily couldn't help herself from staring at the younger woman's ass.
"Hey that's quite a spread you brought." Emily said
JJ turned around slightly embarrassed at having been caught dancing around her friends kitchen.
"Caught me." JJ said a hint of redness touching her cheeks.
"Ha! It was very cute Jayj. What song were you hearing in that head of yours?"
"Whenever, Wherever by Shakira" replied JJ. "It was the last song I listened to before I turned my car off."
"You ah, you move well, JJ" Emily told her beautiful friend honestly. Oh god, Em, what are you doing? Are you flirting with her? What exactly are you expecting here? In the few months that Emily had known JJ, they had never really discussed the particulars of their love lives other than in general terms and the fact that working for the BAU didn't really allow them to have much of one.
Emily found it rather funny actually that, although she trusted JJ with her life, she didn't trust her with her deepest secret. Emily had spent time growing up in parts of the world where being gay was considered more of a sin than actually committing murder, so she was always reluctant to let anyone know that she was a lesbian. Emily found that JJ was somewhat of an enigma herself when it came to her sexuality. Emily had assumed she was straight but sometimes, like when she embraced her earlier this evening, Emily wondered if perhaps JJ wasn't as straight as Emily thought she was. Emily had always presumed that was wishful thinking on her part. Now that she was finding it increasingly difficult to hide her feelings for the blonde, she found that she actually hoped this was one profile she had gotten wrong.
JJ smiled at Emily as she poured the Merlot into a couple of wine glasses and headed into Emily's living room. The brunette followed behind bringing the plate of goodies and the opened bottle of wine with her. Considering the feelings Emily was having difficulty hiding, she was afraid to cozy up with the blonde on her couch. But they soon found themselves just enjoying the good wine, good food, and the friendship that they shared. Sitting here in her living room, laughing with JJ and talking about all the latest office gossip she'd missed while she was out on assignment, made Emily relax. She knew then she would make it through this night with her feelings still hidden, but how much longer would she be able to keep it that way.
Emily smiled as she remembered and related the time before she had actually acted on her feelings for the woman who was now laying helplessly in this hospital bed, the woman she loved and so desperately wanted to come back to her.
"So you had your reservations before you actually went out with my daughter." Donna stated rather than asked the profiler.
Emily had forgotten that JJ's mother was sitting behind her and had been listening to her talking to JJ about the time she started to realize the feelings she had for JJ were more than just friendship. Emily thought that she probably should be slightly embarrassed by her revelations but she wasn't, not even a little bit.
"Of course I did, Donna." Emily said without turning to face the older woman. "I fought them as long as I could but there came a time when I had to take a chance. I'm so very glad that I did. What your daughter and I share is very special and I don't think that JJ could ever find someone that loves her as much as I do. I know I'd never be able to."
"I guess I never realized how much thought you gave it before you acted on your feelings. I just sort of thought…"
"Thought what, Donna?" Emily said finally turning around to look at JJ's mother. "Thought that this started as a whim, that I couldn't control my hormones or something. It was a huge internal struggle I waged every second of every day for quite a while. I was scared to death that she was going to laugh at me, that she was going to reject me, and worse, that I would lose the best friend I'd ever had."
"Emily I didn't mean to upset you. I just didn't realize…"
"You're right, Donna. You didn't realize. You didn't realize what happened because you didn't want to know. You never wanted to understand. And that really upsets your daughter. How do you think it makes her feel to have her own mother reject her for something that she can't control? Neither you nor her father came to our wedding. He's not even here now, when his only daughter is in the hospital seriously injured. You didn't even support her when she was going through perhaps the most wondrous time of her life. She really wanted to share her pregnancy with you and you weren't there. And the worst thing, Donna, you've never seen your grandson. You think knitting him booties and seeing pictures of him compensates for you not seeing him. JJ has told you she would take him to East Allegany but it's never a good time. How do you think that makes her feel? How do you think it makes me feel? I'm the one that has to console her when she cries over you and James. When her brothers tell her what great grandparents you are to their kids and yet you've never asked to see Henry."
Even though it wasn't the right time or place, Emily couldn't help but rant about all the things that upset her about JJ's family but she was trying to do so with as soft and calm a voice as possible so she didn't upset JJ. Emily knew JJ loved her parents but she also knew how much it hurt her not to have them support something that was so important to her – her family. Besides Emily hadn't told Donna anything that wasn't true or that JJ herself hadn't said to Emily at one time or another.
Donna Jareau stood up and said curtly, "James isn't here because he's working and can't get away right now. He's planning on flying out this weekend. Now if you'll excuse me, I need to call him and give him an update on his daughter's condition."
Emily watched JJ's mother walk out the door before turning back to her wife. Hanging her head and blowing out a puff of air she said to JJ "Well I guess I just blew away any good will that was starting to build between me and your mother, Jayj. I'm sorry."
Emily swore that she could see a slight smile forming at the corners of JJ's mouth despite the tube that was taped in place. Emily knew that JJ would have been happy that Emily had finally said all the things to JJ's mother that JJ had wanted to but didn't because she didn't want to make things worse than they were.
Emily kissed the hand that she'd rarely let go of for the past several hours. She was exhausted and her butt was sore. She knew she should get up and walk around but she couldn't bear the thought of leaving JJ alone. So she kissed JJ's hand one more time and leaned forward, laying her head on JJ's bed, to try and get in a bit of a nap. Emily knew she would probably wake up with a sore back and neck but there was no way she was going anywhere.
Emily felt someone tuck the hair behind her ear and whisper her name.
"Mmm, Jayj" said a sleepy Emily
"No honey, it's me, it's Garcia."
Emily raised her head and immediately regretted it. Her neck was stiff and her lower back was in the same condition. Realizing where she actually was made it even worse. She was still holding JJ's hand and JJ was still lying unconscious in her bed.
"Ow!" Emily exclaimed. "I knew I was going to regret lying down in that position. I'm too old for this shit. How long was I sleeping?" she added slowly stretching her aching body.
"I'm not sure, Peaches, maybe an hour or so? I poked my head in when Mrs. Jareau left and saw you sleeping. You could use the sleep so I didn't want to wake you. I should have realized you would wake up hurting."
"I knew that was going to happened when I laid my head down but I was so tired."
"Of course you are, Em. Not only had you been awake for over 24 hours, but this has to be taking a tremendous emotional toll on you as well. Why don't you go to the hotel for a little bit? Get some…."
"NO! I am not leaving her. Not until she finally wakes up and even then I'm not so sure." Emily said a little harsher than she intended to.
"Emily, I understand, I really do but you need to get some real sleep. Take a shower, change your clothes, and you need to eat something. When was the last time you ate?" asked her friend with great concern. "You need to stay strong for JJ, Em. You can't let yourself break down."
"Penelope, please don't make me leave her." Emily said with tears in her eyes. "I couldn't bear the thought of something happening and me not being here. Please don't make me, please don't make me go."
Garcia pulled Emily up and out of her chair and into her warm embrace. She held her friend with all her might knowing how deeply pained she was. Emily sobbed into Garcia's neck and held on tightly to her friend. She looked up when she heard the door open and saw Derek Morgan poke his head in.
Although she knew the rest of her team was here, she hadn't seen anybody but Hotch or Garcia since she'd been watching over JJ.
"Hey, can I come in?" asked Morgan
"Of course you can." Emily said pulling away from Garcia and turning her back to Morgan so he wouldn't see how much of a wreck she was. Emily Prentiss was as strong and emotionally collected as they came but this was tearing her apart. She wasn't going to let her team see her break. She grabbed a couple of tissues from the box on the table next to JJ's bed and wiped her tears before turning back around.
"I brought you a Diet Coke and a sandwich." Morgan said "I know you haven't eaten anything since yesterday morning when the team gathered for breakfast and prepared for…" Derek broke off.
"Prepared for JJ's press conference. It's okay, Morgan, I can't pretend it didn't happen."
"How is she doing?"
"No change really. Her color seems a little better but that could just be my imagination. I keep staring at her monitors hoping for a sign she's improving. I haven't see Dr. Harden since this morning. I'm hoping he'll come in soon and take a look at her." Emily said looking down on JJ, smoothing the hair on her head.
"Em? We're feeling a little helpless here. Would it be okay if Rossi, Reid, and I went back to the station and helped find the guy that did this?"
Emily looked up at Derek. In all her worry, it had completely slipped her mind that this whacko was still out there. The team had been here at the hospital for over 24 hours waiting on news about JJ and had left the investigation to the locals. The team, at least everyone but her, should be out trying to find this brazen asshole. Anyone with nerve enough to shoot a federal agent, on TV no less, would have the balls to go after anybody. They had to find him before he hurt or killed somebody else.
"Of course. I wouldn't expect you guys to just hang around here. Take Hotch and Garcia with you."
"I'm not going anywhere, my darling. I'm staying right here and keeping an eye on my girls." Garcia interjected. "You are not going through this alone. Nope. I'm not going to face the wrath of JJ if she found out I let that happen."
"Hotch won't leave either. He said it was okay with him if we left to join the search but only if it was okay with you." Morgan relayed
"Go. Seriously, I would rather you all channeled your energy into finding the bastard that shot JJ and killed those other women, than sit in the waiting room feeling like me…helpless."
"Okay but only if you're sure it's all right." Morgan said and then turned to Garcia "You'll call me, Baby Girl, if there is any change?"
"Of course I will. Any excuse to feed the sweet tooth I have for my chocolate boy toy."
Emily smiled at their exchange, longing for something, anything that made things seem like they were back to normal and that her wife, the woman she loved with every fiber of her being, wasn't lying in this hospital bed seriously wounded.
Morgan turned back to Emily, the sad look on her face haunting him. He was going to do everything in his power to find this son of a bitch and when he did, he'd better pray that there were other people around or Morgan's face would be the last one he ever saw.
"You know were gonna find him right, Em?"
"I know you will," Emily said giving her friend a hug. "Thanks for the soda and the sandwich...for everything. Now go, go find this bastard", the look on Emily's face told Morgan she knew what his plans were, God help them both.
After Morgan left, Garcia resumed her pursuit of getting Emily to take a break with dogged determination.
"I think you need that break, Prentiss. I can watch after JJ for you and promise I will call you if there is even a microscopic change."
"No, Garcia. I'm going to try to eat this sandwich Morgan brought but that's the best I can promise. I will not leave her side."
"God damn, woman. You've every bit as stubborn as JJ says you are" an exasperated Garcia claimed
Emily smiled and laughed lightly. It was true she was a stubborn woman so she couldn't argue about it. She had exasperated JJ more times that she cared to admit during the course of their love affair.
"There is a shower in there" Emily said pointing at the bathroom in JJ's private room "If you have someone fetch my ready-bag from the hotel, I'll take a quick shower. As for sleeping, well I'm doing that here and I don't want to hear another word about it."
"Morgan went and got your ready-bag for you a little earlier. I brought it in with me." Garcia said pointing to the black bag on the floor by the end of the bed. Emily hadn't noticed it before now. "I had a feeling I wouldn't be able to convince you to leave. Now go freshen up and I'll watch over our favorite blonde princess."
"I only wish she'd wake up if she were to be kissed by her true love." Emily said as she glanced over at JJ. "Thanks Garcia. I'll make it quick."
"Em, please take your time. I'm not going anywhere."
And with a resigned sigh, Emily walked into the bathroom in JJ's room to take that much needed shower. She stripped out of the clothes she'd been wearing for more than a day, finally realizing they were every bit as bloodied as Hotch's, and started the water. As she waited for the water to warm up, she looked at herself in the mirror and didn't like what she saw. She had dark circles under her eyes. She looked tired and wan. Her eyes were puffy from crying.
"Damn it, JJ, look what you've done to me. I always knew you'd be the death of me."
Emily stepped into the warm shower and tried to let the water work the tension out of her tired, aching muscles. Considering she was in a hospital and not at a hotel, the shower wasn't half bad. She wished she could have taken a nice, long, hot one but she hurried through it so she could get back to JJ, not even taking the time to wash her hair.
After drying off and throwing on a fresh pair of khakis and a t-shirt, Emily brushed her teeth and ran a quick brush through her hair. Funny how cleaning yourself up can make you feel better. Emily walked back into JJ's room to find Garcia sitting in "her" chair and talking to JJ.
"I was just reminding her that she owes me lunch and I plan on making her keep her word" Garcia said as Emily came out of the bathroom.
"Oh yeah, the bet."
"Damn, Skippy, the bet. I told her Jordan Todd wasn't going to make it and she was going to have to come back from her maternity leave early."
Emily smiled at the thought. She remembered how ticked off JJ was when Emily returned from Alabama after the case involving the traveling Romani murderers. Emily wasn't sure if JJ was more pissed off that Agent Todd had faltered or that she'd lost the bet to Garcia. Emily knew JJ had really been chomping at the bit to return to work, but she also knew she hated to leave their son. It was her Catch 22.
"Thanks for watching over her Garcia. The shower was really appreciated. I feel better already. God, I just wish she'd wake up."
"She will, Em. She will. You have to believe that." Garcia encouraged. Garcia paused before deciding if she wanted to ask Emily her next question.
"Emily, can I asked what happed with Mrs. Jareau? She seemed kind of upset when she walked out of here a little while ago."
"Yeah, I'm sure she's pissed at me. I kind of laid into her about her lack of support and consideration regarding JJ, our relationship, and our son."
"Oh my god, Em. What happened?"
"It actually started with a fairly innocent comment that I probably shouldn't have taken offense to but I couldn't help myself. All of a sudden all the things I've wanted to say to her for a long time came rushing out. I've seen the woman three times in the three years I've known JJ and only once since we've been married."
"I know, Em. JJ's parents, well, they're kind of old-fashioned. I think they really are having a hard time reconciling your and JJ's relationship with their own moral values."
"JJ and I have strong morals."
"I know you guys do, Em. I'm not making a statement about your relationship. I'm simply trying to explain their reaction to your relationship with their daughter. JJ grew up in rural America. I'm sure the Jareau's haven't encountered very many gay people in that small town of theirs. So to have their daughter marry a woman, well, it had to be a little shocking for them."
"Okay, Pen but JJ is a grown woman. It was Jayj that opened the door to our relationship, not me. I'm not some evil, wanton woman that seduced their chaste daughter. Oh how fucking little they know about their own kid."
Garcia smiled, "The worldly city slicker that came into town and stole the farmer's daughter's virginity?"
"Yeah, that's me." Emily laughed. "First of all, James isn't a farmer and secondly, about JJ being a virgin, well, no comment." It actually felt good to laugh, Emily thought.
"What really gets to me though is the fact that they've never met their own grandson, Garcia. Jayj wanted to take him home for Christmas but they said they thought he was too small to travel. So we told them we would fly them to Virginia then all of a sudden they said James was sick. She tried to take him for a visit in January but it wasn't a good time. Be upset with me, don't like me, I don't care but don't take it out on my little boy. He's completely innocent in this whole mess."
"Oh Em, I know it upsets both of you but you need to unite with her family right now."
"I know it wasn't the time or place but I'm…fuck, I don't know what I am. I'm hurting over JJ. I'm angry. I'm angry that some asshole shot the woman I love. I'm angry with JJ. I just want to wake up and find that this is all just one big fucking nightmare but I know that's never going to happen and it's killing me."
Garcia stood up and walked over to Emily, looking her in the eye.
"Why are you angry with JJ?"
"Because, if she had decided to quit the BAU and stay home with our son or at the very least take a desk job, she would never have been shot. I feel guilty for feeling this way but it's true. We argued about this very thing while she was pregnant and right after Henry was born."
"She loves her job, Em. Just like you do."
"I know she does. And that is why I let it be. But the fact of the matter is, if she had taken herself out of the field, she's be home right now, with our son, and not suffering like she is. This is breaking me, Pen. And there isn't anything I can do."
"Yes there is, Em. Like Dr. Harden said, keep talking to her. Keep reminding her of what she has to live for. If she can hear you, what you're saying right now – the I told you so – that isn't helping."
Emily looked over at JJ and it pained her. JJ's brow was furrowed, which it hadn't been before. Could JJ actually hear Emily ranting? Was that JJ's way of arguing with her for the hundredth time about this very subject?
"You're right." Emily said moving back over to JJ's side. Leaning down to place a gentle kiss on her wife's head she said, "I'm sorry, honey. I know this isn't your fault. I'm right here and I always will be. I'm not going anywhere."
Garcia patted Emily on the back saying, "I'm going to go check on the team. My laptop is out there. Hotch is watching it. God knows I don't want him touching anything. Not only don't I want him trying to access my data bases but do you know how much video footage I have of Morgan on that machine?"
Emily laughed slightly never taking her eyes off of JJ. Emily noticed that JJ's brow unfurrowed after she had kissed her. Could she really hear everything that was being said in this room? Even if that were remotely the case, Emily would have to take care not to say anything further about being angry or upset. Garcia was right; JJ didn't need to hear the "I told you so's" right now. Emily was angry but she knew she needed to stay calm for JJ's sake. She needed to throw her anger towards the unsub and her feelings for JJ's family into one of her little neat compartments for right now. She had a task at hand that was far more important.
Emily took JJ's hand in hers and rubbed the back of it with her thumb.
"I love you, baby. Please come back to me soon. I would love nothing more right now than to see those gorgeous blue eyes of yours. To see that wicked smile that you love to give me." She leaned back over and gave her love another soft kiss on her forehead.
Emily sat down and suddenly realized she was actually famished. Opening the bag that Morgan had brought her, she smiled as noticed it was from a local deli and not the hospital. Turkey and Swiss on wheat, mustard, no mayo, a bag of Baked Lays, and a small container of cut up fruit. The man had even remembered napkins and a fork. This is why she loved working with profilers, they always paid attention and knew what to get when they bought in food.
Emily took a bite of her sandwich. She hadn't realized just how hungry she was until she took that first bite. She was so hungry that this sandwich, slightly stale in some parts, slightly soggy in others, tasted like a gourmet meal. She opened her Diet Coke to wash it down. After a couple of bites, she felt good enough to continue,
"So…do you remember our first date?"
Emily had mixed emotions when she thought back to the days leading up to their first date. It may have not started out with a happy event but it sure ended with one. She had been having an awful time keeping her feelings hidden from her friend for a couple of weeks and it was getting harder and harder every day. Then came Super Bowl Sunday and her team, except Jason Gideon, a senior profiler who was with the team at the time, was going to gather at The Auld Dubliner, a local Irish pub, for the big game. Emily had intentionally distanced herself from JJ in this social situation afraid that after a few drinks in her, she might not be able to keep herself from hitting on the girl. So while Emily preoccupied herself by hanging out with Garcia, Morgan, Hotch, and Hotch's wife Haley, JJ was having a good time kicking ass while playing darts. Emily didn't know that JJ was such a fantastic dart player and wanted to watch her friend play but the tight jeans JJ was wearing along with the short red shirt that kept riding up and exposing her deliciously defined stomach was too much for Emily to handle. They were all having a great time dancing, drinking, and blowing off some steam. Hell even Dr. Spencer Reid, the department's resident genius, was enjoying a drinking game involving Star Trek trivia with some people he'd met there.
The evening was cut short by a horrific case that took the team to rural Georgia. The case involved what initially was thought to be two unsubs that were murdering people in their homes and releasing videos of the murders on the Internet. During the case, JJ uncovered a potential witness, a man who had reported a prowler outside of the initial victims' home and Hotch sent her and Reid to go speak with him to see if they could learn any further details other than what was written in the police report. After JJ and Reid left, Emily returned to the local FBI field office with the rest of the team and was watching the shocking video of the latest victim being ripped to shreds by dogs when the local police detective recognized the dogs in the video. The detective thumbed through his notes to find the name of the owner of the dogs, a Tobias Henkel. Emily still remembered the look on Hotch's face when he realized that was the name of the person JJ and Reid had been sent to talk to.
Emily was sick with worry during the hour drive out to Henkel's home. She had tried JJ's cell phone repeatedly but could not reach her. When they arrived it was dark and JJ and Reid were nowhere to be found. Hotch and Gideon searched Henkel's home while Morgan, Emily and a couple of other police officers searched the barn that was out back. Guns drawn they entered the darkened barn calling out their colleagues' names. JJ pulled her gun on the group as they entered. She was obviously in shock, disoriented, and quite shaken. Only the sound of Emily's voice brought JJ around,
"JJ, look at me"
Even though Reid had been kidnapped by Henkel, who as it turned out had dissociative personality disorder and was actually acting on his own, Emily was more than a little relieved that JJ was okay - a little scared, disheveled, and bloodied, but okay - and vowed to keep a watchful eye on her. That did, however, lead to JJ pulling her gun on Emily…again! Emily had been watching JJ in the bathroom at Henkel's house. She watched as her friend leaned against the bathroom sink and canted her hips. Emily was enthralled with the sight before her and she didn't realize she had startled JJ; that was until JJ pulled her gun on her for the second time. Emily knew she needed to get JJ out of that house to help clear her head so she took JJ with her to question Henkel's former NA sponsor. Emily took the time away from the team to talk a little to her friend about what was happening but what she really wanted to do was hold her and tell her that everything was going to be all right.
JJ put on a brave face and tried to hide the fact that she was struggling with what had transpired after their discovery of the unsub even going so far as to try to get Morgan to verbalize what she felt; that she was to blame for Reid being imperiled. Emily was especially worried about JJ's psyche when the unsub sent live video feed of Reid's torture to the team. Emily could tell that JJ was beating herself up about this. When Henkel posted the final murders he'd committed on the web, JJ had forced Garcia to show it to her in an effort to prove to herself how tough she was; that if she couldn't handle this tough situation, she would need to get out of the field.
After Reid had been rescued they all boarded the jet to head back home. Gideon and Morgan kept a watchful eye on Reid, Emily and Garcia watched over JJ, and Hotch kept vigil over all of them. Emily had never been so worried about her teammates before. She hadn't been with the team when Elle was shot so this was her first experience with any of them missing or being put in harm's way. Knowing it was inevitable in their line of work, she wasn't looking forward to ever feeling this fearful again.
When they landed back home, Emily grabbed JJ's ready bag and walked her to her car. Emily was still watching for any outward sign that JJ was ready to admit she was struggling with what had happened to her or Reid.
"JJ, let me take you home. It's late and you're tired. Tomorrow is Saturday and we can come pick up your car whenever you want. I've got no plans."
"No, Em, I'm fine. Don't be silly," JJ said flashing her signature smile "I'll call you tomorrow, maybe we can grab some lunch or something."
Emily looked JJ over carefully. The profiler in her knew that JJ was anything but okay. She may have been smiling but it wasn't coming anywhere close to reaching her eyes. The friend in her, however, knew that JJ was one that needed her space. She hated to be crowded or mollycoddled. Though she may have looked fragile, JJ was very strong and hated to be treated like she was made of glass.
"Okay, JJ, you know where I am if you need me." Emily said as she put JJ's bag in her car, gave her a hug, and watched her go, knowing that JJ was hurting both physically and emotionally. Emily sighed and headed for her own car.
Emily arrived home, took a quick shower and changed into a pair of shorts and an oversized t-shirt she liked to sleep in. She went downstairs, cut up an apple and some cheddar cheese for a light snack, and was going to watch a little TV when her cell phone rang. She knew who it was even before she looked at the display: JJ
"Jay…" she started to say but stopped when she heard her friend crying.
"Em (sob), I (sob)…"
"JJ are you home?"
"Yes" JJ managed to choke out.
"Stay there. I'm on my way. I'll be there as soon as I can, babe."
Goddamnit, Prentiss, Emily chastised herself. You knew she wasn't okay and you let her go home by herself anyway. You should have insisted that you stay with her.
Emily ran upstairs threw on a pair of jeans, a bra, and a t-shirt and headed over to JJ's house as fast as humanly possible. She really didn't care if she got pulled over, she was more than ready to pull out her FBI credentials and use them to her advantage. Good thing it was late Friday night so traffic was light heading out of the city. She made the 30-minute trip from DC to JJ's home in Woodbridge, VA in about 20 minutes.
Emily decided to try the door handle first before she knocked and found it unlocked. She let herself in to find JJ sitting on her couch. She was crying and, telling by the box of tissue and the many used ones around it, she had obviously been doing so for quite some time. Emily sat on the couch next to her friend and wrapped her arms around her letting JJ brake down and cry on her shoulder.
After several minutes, JJ had calmed down enough to try and speak. She sat up and turned to face Emily and the sight broke Emily's heart.
"It was all my fault, Emily. Reid was abducted and tortured and it was all because I didn't stay with him."
"JJ, it was Reid's decision to split. He told us that himself. This is not your fault. This isn't even Reid's fault. This was Henkel's doing. You know you can't blame yourself." Emily said handing JJ a couple more tissues.
"The look on Morgan's face. He blames me for this. He already doesn't consider me an equal to the rest of you because I'm not a profiler…."
"Morgan can be an ass, JJ," Emily interrupted. "He doesn't mean to be but he can be especially when he's stressed. He was worried we wouldn't find Reid alive. But he didn't have a right to make you feel like it was your fault. And what's more, I guarantee that if it were you two out there by yourselves; he would have done the same thing Reid did because that's Morgan."
"I should have known better." JJ said wiping her nose and the tears from her eyes with the tissue.
"Maybe but so should have Reid. You'll know better next time, JJ. I know you will never let this happen again." Emily brushed the hair that was hanging in JJ's face away and pushed it behind her ear.
"I don't know if I trust myself in the field again, Emily."
"Stop it. Stop it right now. This was an unfortunate thing that happened but you can't let it ruin you. You're stronger than that. You're a hell of an agent, JJ. And you can't let this make you start doubting that."
"That's easier said than done, Emily."
"Look at it this way, JJ. Reid left you out there by yourself without back up. What if you hadn't been able to protect yourself against those dogs? What if Henkel had been in the barn instead of out in the field? You might have been the one kidnapped, hurt, or worse and that would have killed me. I'm actually kind of pissed off at Re.."
JJ's lips crashing down on her own interrupted Emily's sentence. The kiss was powerful and hungry. Emily opened her mouth when JJ's tongue demanded entrance. Emily knew this was wrong but she couldn't have stopped it if she tried. She'd wanted her friend for so long, she was powerless to fight against it. The warmth of JJ's mouth, the sweet taste of her, was wonderful and caused the synapses of Emily's brain to go haywire. Emily was completely lost in the kiss. It was everything that she'd imagined and more. One hand gently held the back of JJ's neck and the other was on JJ's hip. Though Emily wasn't quite thinking clearly, she was able to concentrate on not letting that hand start to roam over the beautiful woman who's mouth was on hers.
JJ, however, was not showing any such control. Emily started to feel JJ's hand move from her hair, down her back, and start to make its way under her shirt sending shivers down her spine. That caused Emily to pull back out of the kiss. She immediately missed the contact with JJ's lips.
"JJ, we need to stop," Emily said breathlessly.
"Because this is a horrible idea considering what you've been going through."
"But I want you, Em" JJ said in a lustful whisper
"God JJ, you have no idea how long I've wanted to hear you say that." Emily said looking into JJ's eyes. Emily noticed that her friend's eyes were not their normal bright blue color but rather the color of the deepest part of the ocean.
"You had to have known, Emily."
"JJ until a few minutes ago, I wasn't even sure you were interested in women."
"You're a hell of a profiler, Prentiss." JJ laughed
Emily smiled and rested her head against JJ's. Emily felt JJ's hand start to snake under her t-shirt feeling the warm skin beneath it. Emily reached behind her to stop JJ's hand from going any further.
"JJ, we need to talk about this."
"No Emily, you need to take me to bed."
"I'm telling you this right now, that is not going to happen. Not until we talk about things and figure out what this is. I've wanted you for weeks now, JJ. A little while longer isn't going to kill me," stated Emily truthfully.
JJ sighed and turned away from Emily in frustration.
"JJ, look at me." Emily said to a slightly rejected JJ.
When JJ turned back around, Emily could see tears forming in her eyes.
"Aw, Jayj, I'm not saying this to hurt you. I would love nothing more than to take you to your bedroom right now and make love to you for the rest of the night."
"So what's the problem? I'm…"
"The problem is, JJ," Emily interrupted, "tonight wouldn't be enough. I don't want just one night. I want you, all of you, and not just your body. I'm thinking long haul here, Jayj. And for that to happen, we have to make sure that it's right. You and I have too much to risk for it to be a one night stand."
JJ smiled shyly and then looked into Emily's eyes.
"Long haul, huh?"
"Yeah, long haul. Like you and me, relationship type stuff." Emily said awkwardly
"So what are we talking here? Dating?"
"Well, yes, ideally there would be dating. Would you be open to that?"
"Seriously, Em, I'm going to recommend to Hotch that you retake your profiling classes. And I'd like to go on record right now that I really should be a profiler because I knew you would be rather receptive to that kiss."
Emily smiled and could feel herself blushing. Had she really been that obvious to the blonde? She thought she'd actually been doing a bang-up job of hiding her true feelings.
"Jayj, all kidding aside, before we go any further, we have to make sure this is real. You do realize just how much we'd have to lose if we were to go out and not have it work? We work together, at a place where not only is intradepartmental dating frowned upon, but cause for dismissal. And I'm sure that goes doubly for same sex relationships. Plus there's the fact that we need to have each other's backs when we are in the field. I already let my emotions get to me as it is where you're concerned."
"You'd need to put this into one of those nifty little compartments you were telling me about, Em."
"There isn't a compartment big enough to hold how I feel about you," Emily said tilting up JJ's chin so she could look into her eyes.
Emily leaned down and gently started kissing JJ again. Except the kiss didn't stay gentle. It turned heated again rather quickly and this time Emily allowed her hands to roam a little. They were in JJ's hair and then ran along her sides. Emily broke from JJ's lips and started to kiss along JJ's jaw line and down the side of her neck. JJ started to moan when Emily began sucking on the sensitive flesh of her neck.
Emily made herself pull away before she went too far to stop.
"Fuck" JJ said exasperatedly
"Sorry, I shouldn't have started up again. I'm serious, Jayj. I want us to give this a real try. I think we might be worth the risks – both professionally and personally."
"I know the professional risks. But personally?"
"Jayj, you're the best friend I've ever had. If we make a try at this and fail, I would lose that. I don't make close friends easily. You're too important to me to just throw it all away. So what do you think? Do you think we're worth taking a shot?"
JJ looked at Emily, "I, um, hadn't really considered our friendship, Em. I wouldn't want to lose you as a friend either."
"I know. That's why I mentioned it. And that's why I won't have sex with you. We have to be able to look at each other in the morning. It's has to be for the right reasons."
"I think we have a shot at something special, Em. I think it might be worth the risk."
"I do to, JJ. But I'm not kidding, no games, no bullshit. There is too much on the line for both of us. We have enough drama at work; we don't need it in our personal lives too. We're risking an awful lot to be together. But I want you to know, I think it's going to be worth it too."
Emily kissed JJ again but this time chastely as to not overheat the blonde again.
"So about that date…"
Emily smiled when she remembered that conversation with JJ that night, the night when they decided to embark on this relationship. They had kissed a little more and had fallen asleep on JJ's couch wrapped in each other's arms but not before Emily had formally asked JJ out. They had set a date for the following Friday. Emily hadn't been sure she was going to make it through that week but she wanted to make it special and that required time.
"JJ, honey, I still get butterflies in my stomach when I think about how nervous I was on our first date. It seems like it was just yesterday…"
Emily had awakened the morning after their talk to find herself on JJ's couch with the lovely blonde in her arms. Nothing in her life had ever felt this right. Emily was stroking JJ's arm and thinking about the kissing and touching they had done before they both had fallen asleep when she felt JJ begin to stir. All of a sudden JJ bolted upright, scaring Emily more than a little.
"Babe, are you okay?" Emily asked, gently placing her hand on the small of JJ's back.
JJ's eyes were wide open and she looked a little lost until she finally realized where she was and whom she was with.
"I'm sorry. I, um, sometimes…" JJ started and then stopped.
"You what, Jayj? Talk to me." Emily said rubbing small circles on JJ's back.
Furrowing her brow, JJ said, "I, um, sometimes…I sometimes have nightmares and for a second I didn't know where I was."
"It's okay, sweetie. I have them sometimes too. I think it'd be scary actually if we didn't given the line of work we're in. Was it the dogs?"
"No. I'm lost in the woods and I can't find my way out. I can hear people calling me but I can't find them. Em, it's the same nightmare – or at least some bastardized variation of it – that I've had since I was a little kid."
Emily sat up a little and tucked JJ's hair behind her ear. It made her sad that JJ looked so lost, so childlike. She reached up and pulled JJ to her to give her a soft kiss on the lips.
"Honey, I'm here. You're not lost anymore. I promise."
Emily then kissed JJ again, this time deeply. JJ more than eagerly accepted the kiss from Emily then turned and pushed Emily back down on the couch so she was on top of her. Emily would never have guessed that JJ could be so aggressive. The night before it took everything she had to get JJ to stop at second base. "Second base? When did I become a hormonal teenager again," thought Emily. JJ sat up straddling Emily's lap and looked wickedly into Emily's eyes as she slowly started to grind against Emily.
Emily found herself temporarily lost in the moment, getting wetter by the second and wanting so desperately to make love with JJ but knowing they needed to wait.
"God Jayj, you're killing me. I need to get out of here before I …"
"Before you what?" JJ asked leaning back down to kiss Emily's neck
"Before I do this…" Emily said as she flipped JJ over and switched positions with her deftly gaining the upper hand. Emily shared a passionate kiss with JJ, one that was all lips, and tongue, and teeth. Emily moved down to JJ's neck and nibbled lightly there before pushing herself off the blonde and into a standing position. The dumbstruck look on JJ's face was a priceless combination of shock and amusement mixed with being more than a little pissed off.
"I told you, JJ. Date first. Sex later. I'm not sleeping with you…yet."
JJ started to pout and Emily pulled her up onto her feet and into an embrace. Emily started to trail light kisses along JJ's neck again and whispered seductively into her ear, "I promise soon (kiss), really soon (kiss) you and I will make (kiss) love (kiss) and it will be amazing." Emily laughed as JJ groaned. It felt kind of nice to know that she was going to be the death of her for a change.
The week between asking JJ out and actually going on their date was the longest week of Emily's life up until then. They hadn't even been called out of town for a case to distract her from thinking about it. Her midterms at Yale hadn't made her this nervous. Emily had never been a great dater. She considered herself somewhat of a geek and always felt like she was two seconds away from saying something that would make the whole evening crumble. Knowing this about herself made Emily want to make everything as perfect as possible for her date with JJ, the most important date of her life in her opinion.
Emily had tried to keep her distance from JJ that week. She had already been fantasizing enough about JJ prior to kissing her but now that she had, damn, she couldn't stop thinking about it. Needless to say, Emily had run a lot that week…and taken several cold showers.
Friday finally came and Emily was excited. She had hope that all her plans for a wonderful evening would go off without a hitch. Just after lunch she heard a squeal come from the direction of JJ's office, which is located outside of the bullpen where Emily sat. Emily, Morgan, and Reid all jumped up and ran to see what was causing the commotion.
"Who are they from, JJ?" they heard Garcia demand from her friend. "Let me see the card."
Halfway to JJ's office, Emily realized why Garcia was screaming but had to play it off.
"It's none of your business, Garcia."
"Jayj, you act like you get flowers everyday. So...who are they from?"
"What's going on? Is everything okay?" Came the questions from both Morgan and Reid.
Then they all saw the gorgeous bouquet JJ had on her desk. Two-dozen of the most perfect red roses they'd ever seen. So happens, Emily's bad luck had Garcia in JJ's office at the time they were delivered.
"Wow, Jayj, someone thinks a lot of you," said Emily playing along with the rest of the gang. "Hot date?"
JJ simply blushed and said, "Something like that."
"Read the card," Emily suggested. JJ just looked at her like she was from another planet.
"Come on, Jayj, read the card," they all said as one
"Fine," said JJ turning about 10 shades of crimson. Emily loved watching her squirm.
"It says, 'Today I caught myself smiling for no reason…then I realized I was thinking of you. Can't wait until tonight. Me' There are you satisfied?"
"Jayj? Me who's Me? That's not fair! I tell you whenever I have a date," exclaimed Garcia
"Sounds serious, JJ" Reid said with a touch of sadness in his voice. Emily winced a little remembering JJ telling her how the two of them had once gone to a football game. Reid seemed to think it was a date, JJ just friends. She certainly didn't mean to cause him any pain, especially right now so soon after his abduction.
"Come on guys leave her alone. She'll tell us when she's ready." Emily said. She watched Spencer Reid leave like someone had just kicked his puppy mumbling something about having to get back to work.
"Shush, Em. Don't give her the easy way out." Morgan said, "Who's the guy?"
"Yeah, Em, don't be a party pooper," chimed in Garcia
Forgetting about Reid at least for now, Emily looked at JJ with a big smile on her face, "Yeah Jayj, who's the guy?" Emily said having a little too much fun with this for JJ's liking.
Looking Emily dead in the eye, JJ said "No one special. Just someone that wants to get in my pants and that's so not going to happen."
The smile quickly fell from Emily's face as she realized she better have JJ's back and soon if she had any hope of ever getting JJ into bed.
"All right you two. Give her a break." Emily said quickly ushering Garcia and Morgan out of JJ's office. Their date was quickly approaching and she didn't need JJ to be pissed off when it happened.
Garcia and Morgan left muttering something about going to Garcia's office and searching her databases for any information out there about this mystery man that JJ was dating.
"Emily, can I ask you a question for a sec?" JJ asked Emily hoping she sounded businesslike to anyone that still may have been listening.
"Sure, Jayj" she said closing the door to JJ's office.
"Em, thank you, they're beautiful." JJ whispered, her cheeks blushing ever so slightly
"They pale in comparison to you."
JJ had a full on blush going now. "So Me…the reverse of Em, huh?"
"Ah you caught that. I was hoping you would. I meant what I said, JJ."
"I know you do. You certainly know how to woo a girl, Prentiss."
"You ain't seen nothing yet, baby."
Emily had arranged to leave work at 3 o'clock that afternoon, a couple hours earlier than JJ. Emily had hundreds of hours of vacation time on the books so why not? She knew Friday night traffic could be rough and she needed to get home, shower, change, and then drive back over to Woodbridge to pick up JJ. Their date was in DC but Emily wasn't about to let JJ meet her at the restaurant. Not on their first date – it wasn't acceptable in Emily's book.
Emily got home and immediately poured herself a glass of wine. She needed a little something to take the edge off; her nerves were starting to get to her. The restaurant they were going to was dressy casual. Emily just wanted someplace nice where they could relax and enjoy each other's company. So after a quick shower, Emily settled on a nice pair of dressy black jeans, low-cut red blouse, and black boots. She knew that red was her color and wanted to look her best. After doing her hair and make-up, Emily grabbed her leather jacket, hopped back in her car and headed to JJ's house. Traffic was nightmarish and she was happy she'd decided to leave work a little earlier than normal. Hotch hadn't even asked why, he probably just assumed she was headed out of town to see her mother.
She knocked on JJ's door at exactly 6:30, their reservations were at 8 so that gave them plenty of time to leave JJ's and head back over to DC. Emily knew by the time this night was over, she would have made the trip from DC to Virginia six times that day but JJ was worth it. She had thought about doing something on Saturday so she didn't have to worry about work and the traffic to and fro would be lighter, but she didn't want to wait one day longer than she had to.
Emily's jaw just about hit the floor when JJ opened her door. JJ had decided to wear a simple but gorgeous black dress. It had a deep v-shaped neckline in the front, and an equally deep v-shaped back, it was tight across her torso and ended about three-inches above her knees. She wore black leather boots with a three-inch stacked heel that started just under JJ's knee leaving about five or six inches of tanned skin exposed.
Emily swallowed hard.
"Like what you see?"
"Jesus Jennifer. I have to be able to focus when I'm driving."
"I'll take that as a yes." JJ said as she leaned in to give Emily a kiss. They stood just inside JJ's door for quite a while kissing.
"You can take that as a yes too."
"That's the first time you've ever called me Jennifer."
"I'm sorry, I…"
"Don't be sorry. It's nice. I've always thought it was kind of ordinary, never really liked it very much. But coming from you, it's nice."
"There's nothing ordinary about you, Jennifer," Emily said recapturing JJ's lips with her own. "God, I've wanted to do this all week." Emily said as she broke away from JJ.
"Me too. I've missed you."
Noticing the healing wounds from the dog attack on JJ's arm, she traced her fingers along them and bent down to give them a light kiss.
"These are looking better now."
"They're fine, Em."
Still tracing along the marks, Emily was relishing the feel of JJ's soft skin beneath her fingertips.
"We need to go now, Jayj, or I'm not going to want to leave here."
"You know that'd be okay with me. You're the one insisting on the date."
"I just want to do it right, JJ. You deserve to have it done right." Emily said to the woman she knew she was beginning to fall in love with. She noticed the roses were proudly displayed on JJ's table in the hallway. "I see you got the flowers home okay."
"Yeah, Morgan found me a box and helped me pack it so it wouldn't tip. Of course, he tried again to get me to reveal who sent them to me. They really are beautiful, Em. And the card means the world to me."
"You're welcome, I'm glad you liked them. Now lets get out of here before I change my mind and we stay in and order take-out."
The both reapplied the lipstick that had been mussed up. JJ grabbed a warm winter wrap, black with a faux fur collar, and her purse and they headed out to Emily's Lexus with Emily walking JJ to the passenger side and opening the door for her.
"You are mighty gallant, Agent Prentiss."
"Hey Jayj, how 'bout you just sit back and enjoy the experience." Emily said with a smile
The ride back to DC was relatively calm. Traffic was heavy but moving. JJ and Emily listened to music and had some nice conversation. Emily kept looking at JJ out of the corner of her eye and couldn't believe the vision that was sitting there. Emily found herself wanting to touch her and reached over to stroke JJ's bare, toned and tanned thigh. It was the first time Emily had touched JJ there but she knew it wouldn't be the last. The conversation stopped while Emily gently caressed JJ's thigh, the song Eternal Flame by The Bangles playing through Emily's stereo system. Emily glanced over at JJ, hoping that JJ was actually listening to the lyrics, and could see that she was enjoying the contact as Emily's thumb gently rubbed the outside of her exposed thigh and her fingers teased the inside of it. It took every ounce of willpower Emily had not to let her hand travel up JJ's leg and tease her opening; she wasn't going to take it that far. They both laughed when the song changed to Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On.
"Oh thank God we're here," Emily said pulling up to the restaurant.
"I wish you'd let me show you what you're doing to me, Em."
"Probably the same thing you're doing to me."
After Emily found a place to park, she undid her seatbelt and moved over to get close to JJ – at least as close as the center console would allow. She undid JJ's seatbelt and pulled JJ towards her. The two kissed trying to release some of the energy that had been building on the ride back to DC. Making out in a car made Emily feel like a kid again. She didn't want to keep her hands off of JJ but she forced herself to.
She and JJ had made their 8 o'clock dinner reservations with enough time to spare to enjoy a glass of wine in the bar. Emily had picked the perfect place for dinner. The atmosphere of the restaurant was dark, quiet and intimate. Emily loved the way that JJ sat right next to her and wasn't afraid to show people that they were together. Emily had dates in the past that wanted to give the impressions they were friends and nothing more. But not JJ, JJ was comfortable letting people know she was with Emily.
"JJ, can I ask you a question?"
"When did you know I was gay?"
"Fairly early on, Em. I have a pretty sensitive gaydar."
"Then why did you wait so long to, ah, make your move?"
JJ chuckled a little "Em, you were so guarded at first I didn't want to let you know I saw through it. I didn't want to embarrass you and I didn't think you'd be interested in someone on your team. When I realized you had feelings for me, I tried to let you make the first move, but you never did and I'm not sure you ever would've. You're actually pretty shy, Emily." Emily startled when JJ started to run her fingers along her thigh.
"God JJ." Emily said as she turned to nuzzle the side of JJ neck
After finishing their dinners and sharing a dessert, Emily paid the bill and they left the restaurant. "I have someplace I'd like to take you JJ."
"Please tell me it's back to your place."
"JJ, I can't sleep with you tonight. I really want to but I can't."
"God Emily, I'm dying here."
"Jayj, all in good time, all in good time. Come on, let's go."
Shortly after leaving the restaurant, Emily pulled up in front of the Old Post Office Tower in the heart of DC. Luckily, this time of night, parking was not an issue. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue about halfway between The White House and the Capitol building, the Old Post Office tower was one of the tallest landmarks in the city. An actual former post office, the building was now used mostly for retail and tourism and was part of the National Park Services.
"Ah Em, it looks like its closed."
"It is. Hang on." Emily said as she pulled her cell phone out of her jacket pocket. She walked just out of JJ's range to have a conversation. A few minutes later, a nice looking older gentleman wearing a security guard uniform came to the door.
"Hey Bill, how are you?" Emily said to the guard giving him a big hug. "This is Jennifer."
"Nice to meet you, Jennifer," Bill said "Take good care of this one. I've known her since she was a kid."
JJ smiled at the man. He looked at Emily like he would have looked at his own daughter.
"Nice to meet you too, Bill. I promise I'll take good care of her. She's mighty special isn't she?"
"Yes she is."
Bill let them into the darkened building that was now closed to the public.
"Be careful. There are running lights but that's about it right now. I left the power on for the elevator though. Have a good time." Bill said before adding, " and Emily, you're right, she is beautiful."
Emily flashed a wide smile back at Bill, grabbed JJ's hand and led her into the glass elevator that would take them to the observation deck. On the ride up, Emily explained that Bill used to work on Emily's mother's security detail when Emily was a young girl. Bill was specifically in charge of watching over Emily for several years and the two had become quite close. After Bill retired, he got bored and got a part-time gig as a security guard. Since she'd moved to DC, Emily met with him a couple of times a month for lunch or dinner. She was actually closer to Bill than she was to her own father.
"So he obviously knows you're gay."
"Obviously. He was one of the first people I actually told, JJ. He means that much to me."
"He seems to really love you, Emily." JJ said moving over to where Emily was standing.
"He does. We have a special relationship. I trust him implicitly."
"So...you told him about me?" JJ asked as she lightly pressed Emily up against the back of the elevator.
"You told him I was beautiful, huh?" JJ whispered giving Emily a soft kiss on her lips
"So, Em," JJ said pressing her thigh between Emily's legs "how many other girls have you brought up here?"
Emily thoughts of that evening were interrupted when Dr. Harden came in to check on JJ's progress.
Emily hoped that Dr. Harden hadn't overheard anything she had been saying to JJ as she recounted the night that she took JJ to the top of the Old Post Office Tower. He came in, checked JJ over and told Emily that, while there hadn't been much improvement, she hadn't gotten any worse either.
"She's doing okay, Agent Prentiss. Lung capacity is a little higher, vitals are good, brain activity is good, very good actually. I would hope that means she is taking in everything you are talking to her about." Dr. Harden said before adding, "I'm headed home for the evening. The nurses know how to reach me if there's a need."
"Thank you Dr. Harden. I appreciate you checking on her before you left for the day."
"No problem. And I know this will fall on deaf ears, but you really should get some rest. It might be a couple of days or more before she rejoins us."
"I'll be fine right here. I'm not going anywhere until she's ready to go home."
"I figured as much but I had to make the suggestion. You'll relay this information to her mother when you see her?"
"Yes. Next time I speak with her, I'll give her an update." If he only knew, Emily thought
"Good night, Agent Prentiss." Dr Harden said turning to leave. "By the way, my wife and I went to the top of the OPO Tower when we were in DC last summer. The view is spectacular isn't it?" he added with a wink and a smile as he left.
Emily could feel her cheeks start to burn.
"Way to go, Jayj. You had to corner me in that elevator didn't you?" she said to her unconscious wife.
Emily felt JJ's thigh press between her legs and JJ's mouth had moved from her lips to the soft skin of her neck. JJ slipped her fingers under Emily's shirt and started to caress the warm skin underneath when thankfully – at least as far as Emily was concerned – they reached their destination.
"Saved by the bell," Emily said as the elevator chimed their arrival at the observation deck of the tower. JJ groaned in frustration. The chill in the air of this February night was much colder up here than it was while they had been on the ground.
"Are you going to be okay up here, Jayj?" Emily asked, "I knew I should have told you to dress warmly."
"I'm fine. That's why I'm wearing these boots instead of strappy sandals. Besides, I have you to keep me warm, don't I?"
Emily wrapped her arms around JJ and said, "Of course you do," before pulling her back into a kiss
"Come here, Jayj, I want to show you something."
Emily led JJ to the most beautiful thing that JJ had ever seen. At this time of night, from up here on the observation deck, the entire city of Washington DC seemed to be made from lights rather than concrete, brick, granite, or marble. From up here you could see all the different landmarks of this historic city: the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, and even The White House all bathed in warm yellowish hues. Emily stood behind JJ and wrapped her arms tightly around her waist just letting JJ take everything in. JJ had often been to DC but this was the first time seeing it from this vantage point.
"I love it up here," Emily said after a few minutes
"It's beautiful, Em. Just breathtaking."
"Yes, it is," Emily said as she pulled down the faux collar on JJ's wrap, brushed JJ's long blonde hair to one side, and started to kiss the back of her neck
"Do you come up here a lot?"
"Bill lets me spend time up here when I need to clear my head, when I need to think. For the past month or so that's been a lot."
"What do you think about up here?"
"The job, our cases…you."
"You never answered my question."
"Mmm, what question was that?" Emily was rather lost in the feeling of JJ's skin on her lips as she peppered tiny kisses long JJ's neck and across her exposed shoulders.
"How many other girls have you brought up here?"
Emily couldn't tell if JJ was kidding or not so she decided to answer her truthfully.
"You're the first, Jennifer."
JJ turned in Emily's arms to face her. "You've never brought anybody up here before?"
"Just Bill. Does he count?" Emily said with a big smile
"Jayj, since I've been in DC, I haven't dated anyone. At first I was too busy getting settled in with the job, the team, so who had the time. Then, once I realized I had feelings for you, I didn't want to date anyone else. I …"
JJ didn't let Emily finish that sentence. Instead she kissed Emily; kissed her for all that she was worth. They stood on that observation deck enjoying the feel of one's mouth on the other's, tongues so intertwined they didn't know where one started and the other one ended. It was Emily that finally broke from the kiss and placed her forehead against JJ's.
"You really need to stop doing that to me," Emily said trying to regain her composure
"Why? You seem to like it."
"I do and that's the problem. You're making it impossible to, um..."
"To what, Em?"
"To keep my hands to myself. To keep from wanting to take you back to my place and make love with you."
"And that's a problem because?"
"Jayj, it's our first date. I'm trying to be, I don't know, chivalrous."
JJ smiled and reached to hold Emily's hand
"Emily, you know it's not like you picked me up in a bar, right? You and I are friends; we have a history. I don't know…it's like we started at the fifth date. We already have feelings; feelings I'd really like to continue to explore if you'd just let us."
Emily blew out a puff of air and it was cold enough to see it. She stared at her feet not really knowing what to say about that. JJ was eight years younger than her, why was she so much more confident. JJ seemed like she knew what she wanted and wasn't afraid to go for it.
"Have you ever been in love, Emily?" JJ asked, breaking the silence
"I'm not…I'm not sure" Emily stammered; eyes cast downward still afraid to look at JJ
JJ slowly lifted Emily's chin up so their eyes could meet. "Yes you are, Em. Don't be afraid of it."
"You frighten me, Jennifer. You make me feel things I've never felt before."
"That's not a bad thing, Emily." JJ said tenderly still looking into Emily's eyes.
JJ saw tears start to well up in those eyes when she leaned in to kiss Emily again. This wasn't an earnest and eager kiss like before. This kiss was meant to show Emily that JJ was falling in love with her too. It was JJ that broke the kiss this time, cupping Emily's cheek, she just stared at her and said, "You are so beautiful, Emily."
Emily hugged JJ and stared off into the night sky thanking whoever guided such things for leading Emily to this place and time with this particular person to hold on to. This person that was holding onto her like she'd never been held before, like Emily was the most important person in her life.
"Thank you for being you, Jennifer."
Off in the distance, Emily saw something flash across the sky
"Ooh, a shooting star."
JJ turned around quickly trying to see it but, of course, it was gone. Emily stood behind JJ, her chin resting on JJ's shoulder, both of them looking hard into that night sky trying to find another when one finally scooted across the sky.
"Wanna know what I wished for?" JJ asked as she grabbed one of Emily's hands that were wrapped around her waist.
"I'd rather show you."
JJ pulled Emily's hand to her thigh and ran it up her leg and under the dress she was wearing. Emily was putty in her hands and powerless to stop JJ from leading her hand to where she wanted her the most. Emily closed her eyes as she willingly slipped her fingers under the silken material of JJ's panties and into her heat.
"God, Jayj, you are so wet." Emily loved the feeling of JJ on her fingers
"You do this to me, Em" JJ said laying her head back and resting it against Emily's shoulder feeling Emily's fingers stroking her for the first time.
After a couple of minutes, JJ turned around to face Emily and started to remove the wrap she had draped over her shoulders.
"I don't want you to be cold."
"I'm not cold." JJ said lustily as she put her wrap over the railing
Locking eyes with Emily she slowly lowered her dress down her shoulders confirming for Emily what she'd thought all evening.
"One of the benefits of smallish breasts, you don't necessarily need to wear a bra." JJ said with a bit of a devilish smile.
Emily took in the sight before her. JJ looked beautiful in the light provided by the full moon; the running lights were the only other illumination. Emily suddenly felt like she was on fire and she took off her leather jacket and let it drop to the ground in front of her. Emily swallowed hard as JJ reached for her hand again and placed it on one of her breasts. Emily locked eyes with her as she gently palmed the perfect mound that was given her.
"God you're beautiful, Jennifer," Emily said as she kissed JJ lips then moved down her jaw and to her neck feeling JJ's pulse start to quicken as she continued to kiss there. Emily slowly moved to kiss further down JJ's chest until she reached the breast she had been gently kneading. JJ gasped when Emily took her nipple into her mouth and began to suck on it.
While Emily had her mouth on JJ's breast one hand was making its way down JJ's body feeling her soon to be lover trembling beneath her touch. Releasing JJ's nipple from her lips, Emily noticed it get instantly hard; the results of the moisture from Emily's mouth combined with the cold night air.
"You're shaking. Are you sure you're not cold?"
"I'm not shaking because I'm cold, Emily." JJ said as she reached to undo the buttons on Emily's blouse starting at the bottom. JJ splayed her hand across Emily's stomach feeling the muscles convulse beneath her fingers.
JJ's dress was tight enough across the torso to hold it in place despite being removed from JJ's shoulders. Emily alternated between nibbling, licking, and massaging each of the blonde's breasts. Emily slowly sank to her knees and knelt on the leather jacket that lay at her feet while she let her hands trail along JJ's stomach. Emily gently stroked along a leather-clad calf then up a toned thigh before reaching to remove the skimpy panties JJ was wearing. JJ used Emily for support while Emily took her panties off and stuffed them in the pocket of her jeans.
"God I want you so badly, Jennifer."
"I'm right here, baby. Make me yours."
Emily let all of her senses take in what was about to happen. The sounds JJ made when she was touched, the sight of the beautiful woman before her, the silkiness of JJ's skin as she touched her, the smell of JJ's lust, and then she went in for the taste. Emily moved forward to let her tongue tease JJ's opening causing her to buck into the touch and start to moan. Emily continued to explore JJ with her tongue while her hands slowly meandered along her inner thigh and moved up to stroke JJ's ass. JJ had one had grabbing at the railing behind her trying to keep herself upright while the other hand was pressing Emily further into her.
Wanting to get even deeper, Emily pulled one of JJ's legs up over her shoulder and wrapped her arm around the back of JJ's thighs to give her more support as JJ reached to hold the railing with her other hand too. Emily flattened her tongue and ran it the entire length of JJ's sex and probed her slit with the tip of it. She could hear JJ's breath begin to get ragged and could feel her shuddering with every stroke. Emily gently took JJ's clit into her mouth and rhythmically sucked and swirled around it, picking up the pace a bit when she felt JJ was close to her climax.
"Oh God, Em!" JJ screamed when she finally came
Emily happily licked up the fruits of her labor and then slowly lowered JJ's leg from her shoulder. She stood up to let the blonde lean against her while she came down from her orgasm. Grabbing JJ's wrap and pulling it around her since she was still pretty much naked from the waist up, Emily kissed JJ's neck and held her tightly until JJ could stand on her own.
"Are you okay, baby?" asked Emily
JJ answered Emily with a kiss; she could taste herself on Emily's mouth.
"That was amazing, Emily."
"I think we need to get out of here before you catch a cold." Emily said kissing JJ one more time.
"I'm not sure I want to leave here."
"Yes you do" Emily said seductively kissing JJ giving her a preview of even better things to come. JJ smiled knowing that this was not the end of their evening.
Emily helped JJ put herself back together, buttoned her own blouse and put her jacket back on. She looked up to find JJ scanning the ground for something.
"Whatcha looking for you?" Emily said tilting her head to one side and smiling knowing full well what JJ was looking for
"Um, my panties. Do you have them Emily Prentiss?" JJ asked noticing the sly smile on Emily's face
"Can I have them back?"
"Maybe later but not right now. I kind of like the idea of you not wearing any."
"Ha! What happened to chivalry?"
"Chivalry be damned. You unleashed the lion now you have to deal with it."
Her legs still a little wobbly, JJ leaned against Emily the entire ride down the elevator and let Emily help her back into the car. She watched Emily go over to Bill to say goodbye and ask him to make sure he erased any security camera footage that might have record their tryst.
"Is he, um, going to take care of that for us, Em?"
"I love that man. He ran a system scan the entire time we were up there. The cameras can't record while he runs it. Man's a genius."
"I think Bill just officially became one of my favorite people."
Emily leaned in and kissed JJ passionately, "Now…where were we?"
"I think we were headed to your place."
Emily smiled and threw her car in gear resting her hand on JJ's bare thigh and occasionally running it a little higher to remind JJ of what lay ahead. When they arrived back at Emily's condo, Emily parked her car in its spot and head over to the passenger side to let JJ out of the car. Emily pushed JJ up against the car kissing her and allowing her hands to roam over the gorgeous blonde.
"Emily, I think we need to take this to your bedroom. Now!"
Emily didn't need to be told twice. She grabbed JJ's hand and pulled JJ along behind her toward her home. As she fumbled with her keys to unlock her door, JJ was reaching around from behind her already working on undoing her belt. Not bothering to turn on any lights, Emily led JJ upstairs to her bedroom after JJ had dumped her wrap and purse on the entry hall floor. Even in the dark, Emily's bedroom was well lit. The entire wall across from her bed was glass and the curtains were open allowing the glow from the full moon to come in. JJ had seen Emily's view of the Capitol from her living room she just didn't realize that Emily's bedroom had the same view.
JJ moved towards Emily to unbutton the brunette's blouse pressing completely up against her to push it off her shoulders. Emily's creamy skin was luminescent in the moonlight that was pouring in through her windows. Emily sat on her bed to take off her boots and socks and looked up to see JJ getting ready to do the same.
"I, um, think you should maybe leave those on."
"Really Em? Add a little kink?"
"What? I'm just saying is all. You're the one that wants to do me with my boots on."
Emily got off the bed and moved towards the blonde; now a little shorter than JJ because she was in her bare feet. "Yes I do," she said to JJ lustily turning JJ around so she could help unzip her dress. She kissed the back of JJ's neck while slowing pulling down the zipper. They both let the dress fall to the floor. Emily almost came on the spot at the sight of JJ standing naked before her wearing nothing but her black leather knee-high stacked heeled boots.
"Goddamnit, Jennifer! You're so fucking sexy."
JJ smiled seductively and moved towards Emily. She grabbed the buckle of belt that she had already loosened and pulled it through the loops of Emily's jeans. JJ unbuttoned her lover's pants and lowered the zipper, helping Emily step out of them. Emily reached behind her and unhooked her bra letting it join the rest of their clothing on the floor.
JJ pushed Emily onto her bed and straddled her. Emily loved the combined feeling of JJ's wetness on her belly and a leather-clad calf on either side of her torso. Emily leaned up on one elbow and with the other had pulled JJ down for a kiss. They explored each other's mouths with wanton abandon only breaking the kiss when they were completely breathless. Encouraging her to move up by cupping her ass, Emily took one of JJ's breasts into her mouth and slowly began to suckle it while her hands roamed her lover's body. Emily was reaching between them to feel the wetness between JJ's legs when JJ grabbed her by the wrist to stop her.
"Uh-uh, you already had your fun. Now it's my turn." JJ said with a throaty growl.
JJ shifted her body downwards and started kissing and nipping along Emily's neck leaving small red marks wherever her teeth met Emily's skin. Emily loved the feel of JJ's lips and tongue running down her body. She watched as JJ took one of her nipples in her mouth. Emily felt wetness pooling between her legs lost in the feeling of JJ's tongue circling her nipple while her hand trailed down her torso and towards her wet heat. Emily raised her hips when JJ started to pull off her underwear.
JJ took a moment to look at the sight before her. Emily actually lying naked on the bed was better than anything her imagination could have ever dreamed up. She was taking in the milky white skin and firm supple breasts when JJ noticed a small dark mark just to the inside of Emily's hip bone. She strained in the moonlit room to make it out.
"What's this, Em? iF?" JJ said a bit surprised of her findings
"Ha! Not iF, JJ. It just looks like it. It's the Chinese symbol for integrity." Emily said of the small tattoo she had on the inside of her hip on the front of her pelvis.
"It's beautiful…and perfect. Just like you." JJ said tracing the symbol with her finger
JJ continued moving her fingers downward and started fingering Emily feeling her wetness. JJ coated her finger with Emily's juices and then brought it up to trace the outline of Emily's nipple with the wet finger before taking it in her mouth again to taste her lover for the first time.
"God JJ, I want you so badly. Stop teasing I can't take it anymore. I need you on me, inside of me."
"You taste so good, baby. I can't wait to go down on you."
Emily just sighed with anticipation as JJ began the agonizingly slow descent down her body. JJ kissed a toned tummy stopping to dip her tongue into Emily's bellybutton and swirl it around before continuing to move down her lover's body with her tongue.
JJ suckled Emily's tattoo and then sat up slightly bringing Emily's knees up with her and repositioned herself between Emily's legs. JJ licked behind one of Emily's knees and up along the inside of her thigh hearing the other woman moaning at her advances. JJ looked at the glistening mound before her taking in the sight of how wet Emily was for her before reaching out and running a finger along Emily's slit followed by her tongue.
Emily bucked beneath her as JJ fondled her and played in her folds. JJ had teased and worked her up good already and she could feel the delightful coil building deep in her belly. Emily sucked in her breath when JJ slipped two fingers inside her, palm up, so she could tease the nerve bundle just inside her opening. Emily felt like she stopped breathing all together when she felt JJ take her clit between her warm lips and tongue sucking on the beautiful pearl.
"Oh fuck, JJ…" Emily panted, " Jesus….Christ…almighty!"
JJ knew that Emily wasn't going to last much longer as she kept the rhythm steady with both her fingers and her tongue. Emily arched her back and JJ moved her free hand to her lover's hip to keep her in place. JJ could feel Emily contract around her fingers and finally heard her scream her name.
JJ continued to lightly move her fingers in and out of Emily and gently lick Emily's clit after Emily came. Finally she removed her fingers, flattened her tongue, gave Emily a few more passes along her slit feeling her shiver, before moving up Emily's body to hold her lover in her strong arms.
Emily's body was lightly bathed in sweat and she couldn't breathe but it was the best she had ever felt. The woman that she knew she loved – but was too afraid to say it yet – just gave her the most intense orgasm of her life and was now staring down at her with the most loving, tender look on her face.
"Emily, sweetie, are you okay?" JJ said cupping her face and placing gentle loving kisses along Emily jaw line.
"That was (pant) just (pant) amazing (pant)" Emily was finally able to say
"Yeah it was. I loved hearing you scream my name."
JJ stroked Emily's cheek with her thumb and continued to whisper sweet nothings to her lover. JJ knew she was falling in love with Emily too but knew Emily would freak out if she said so – at least right now - so she just relished being with her.
"Will you spend the night with me?"
"I'm not going to make you climb out of bed to take me home, Em."
"I'm happy to hear that. I was going to offer to call you a cab."
"Humph. Nice, Em, real nice." JJ said with a grin. "Does that mean I can take my boots off now?"
"Oh my god! I'm so sorry baby, of course. Would you like a t-shirt or something to keep you warm too, Jayj?"
"I've still got you don't I?"
"Oh yeah. You got me all right. I just hope it's what you want."
"Couldn't you tell, Em?"
"Yes. But it's always nice to hear."
JJ sat up and hovered over Emily to look at her lover properly. "You're what I want."
Emily reached up to caress JJ's cheek, "You're what I want too."
JJ knew that was as close as Emily was going to get to saying I love you for right now so that meant the world to her. They kissed a little more, JJ removed her boots, laid her head on Emily's shoulder and they both fell asleep. Sometime later they both woke up still wrapped up in each other's arms and made love again.
Having spent most of the night talking to JJ about the first time they'd made love, Emily sat in her chair smiling at the remembrance, when Penelope broke her thoughts.
"Good morning! It's nice to see you smiling, Em. What brought that on?"
"Oh nothing" Emily said feeling her cheeks getting flush "I didn't hear you come in."
Garcia, upon noticing the blush, realized what Emily was more than likely thinking about. Unbeknownst to Emily, JJ and her had spent a lot of time discussing the voracity of a certain dark-haired FBI agent that they both knew and loved. Emily might have hesitated to make love to JJ for the first time but, once that horse was out of the barn, there was no corralling it. Not that JJ had been complaining by any stretch of the imagination. No, Garcia knew they had both finally met their match in each other.
"Did you manage to get any sleep, Emily?"
"Yes some." Emily lied, she'd actually gotten very little. Sitting up in this chair wasn't exactly conducive to sleeping but there was no way she was going to mention that to Mama Bear; not unless she wanted to fight about leaving JJ's side again.
"Hmm…why don't I believe you?"
Emily smiled at her friend, "I appreciate the concern but I'm okay. I need to call Amanda and check on Henry though. Would you mind sitting with her for five minutes? I'll be right outside the room if you need to come get me."
"Go, Em. I called Amanda last night and again this morning but I know you'll feel better if you call and talk to her yourself."
"Thanks, Pen. I'll be right back."
Emily left JJ for only the second time since JJ had been placed in her private room after her surgery. She never even left when the various nurses had come in to check on JJ's tubes and bandages. The overnight charge nurse had brought her a pillow and a blanket and commented on Emily's devotion to her patient.
After a few minutes, Emily returned looking rather upset
"He's not sleeping well. Amanda says he was up all night crying and fussing. He's never gone this long without at least hearing her voice. I think he misses her." Emily said with tears starting to form in her eyes.
"Did you talk to him?"
"Yes but its not the same. He loves JJ so very much. When we're traveling, we've told Amanda to call us no matter what time it is if he won't settle down. Five minutes on the phone with JJ and he's soothed." Emily said, "Can you do me a favor?"
"When you get a chance can you see about booking them on flight here? Maybe if he can see me…"
"And his godmother."
"Yes, and his godmother, it will help. Besides, I miss him and it'd be great if JJ could see him when she finally wakes up."
"Consider it done," Garcia said. She looked over at Emily and knew she needed to bring a smile back to her face. She hated to see her friend so distraught.
"So what were you thinking about when I walked in?"
"Like I said, nothing"
"Nothing huh, Emily? I think I know that look. JJ gets the same one when she thinks of you in a particular way too." Garcia teased. "Any specific time Agent Prentiss?"
Emily just chuckled. Leave it to Garcia to want to talk about sex at a time like this.
"The first time."
"Ooh, the tower!"
"Gawd, are you telling me JJ told you about the tower." Emily asked incredulously.
"Honey, JJ has told me all kinds of things. Come on, you know she told me about you two right from the very start." Garcia knew that Emily wasn't comfortable talking about the intimate details of her life so she held those discussions to when she and JJ were alone. JJ had no such compunction, she relished her sex life and wasn't afraid to say so, at least not to her best friend.
"Yes but I didn't know she…Oh never mind. I guess I'm not really surprised."
"If it makes you feel any better…she says you're magic."
Emily smiled even as she blushed harder.
"I was in love with her from that first date, you know. I fell hard."
"So did she, Pumpkin, so did she."
Emily awoke the next morning to find JJ still fast asleep. She sat up and afforded herself a good look at the beautiful woman in her bed. JJ was sleeping on her tummy with her face away from Emily. Emily pulled back the covers a little to sneak a peek at JJ's flawless body. Toned and tanned everywhere as far as Emily would allow herself to look since she didn't want to wake her. She could see JJ's muscles in her arms and back even as she was sleeping. Emily knew JJ worked out and ran a lot, took good care of herself by drinking plenty of water and eating right but she never appreciated that as much as she did right now.
She leaned down and kissed JJ's bare shoulder "Tienes mi corazón, Jennifer. Guárdalo seguro. Te quiero. Te amo.
Knowing that if she continued to stare at her lover, it'd been a long time since Emily had used that phrase she thought, it would be hard to keep her hands off of her so she decided to quietly ease out of bed.
Hers and JJ's clothes were all over the bedroom floor making Emily smile as she thought about the night she had spent with JJ. It was truly a memorable experience. She picked up everything placing JJ's dress and boots on the chair in her bedroom and went to put her stuff in the hamper checking her pockets first. She found JJ's panties and smiled again as she looked at the tiny piece of material that was JJ's undergarment before placing it with the rest of her things.
She got dressed in a pair of sweats and a tee and went into her bathroom to brush her hair and teeth. She opened the box of attachments for her Sonicare and pulled out a clean, unused brush head and laid it on a clean towel with her tube of toothpaste. She went downstairs but not before laying out a robe for JJ to put on after she woke up and closing the curtains in her bedroom. Emily was never bothered by the sunlight coming in, she could sleep no matter what, but she wasn't sure if it would bother JJ and she wanted JJ to sleep as long as she wanted.
Emily went downstairs, picked up JJ's haphazardly thrown wrap and purse, turned on some music, and went into her kitchen to start a pot of coffee. She looked in her refrigerator to contemplate making JJ breakfast and found enough to make a couple of veggie omelettes. Good thing they had been home this week which forced Emily to buy a few groceries otherwise it might have just been a couple of packs of instant oatmeal she always had on hand.
She had just finished chopping up some tomato, onion, and green peppers when she was startled by a warm body being pressed up against her.
"Jesus Christ, JJ, you scared me. You would think an FBI agent would know better that to sneak up on someone holding a knife."
"Sorry. I thought you might have heard me rummaging around upstairs."
Emily turned around to look at the blonde.
"I guess I was just wrapped up in my own head." Emily said. "Good morning," she added as she leaned in to kiss JJ. The minty-freshness of JJ's breath told Emily that she had found the brush head she had left her.
"You look good in my robe."
"Thanks for leaving it for me. And for leaving me the toothbrush."
"That head belongs to you now. Did you sleep well?" Emily asked moving over to the other counter where her coffee pot was.
"I did, thank you. I think it's the best I've slept in a while."
"Good. You hungry?"
"Famished. I'm not sure what I did last night but I sure worked up an appetite." JJ said with a wide grin.
Emily met her smile and handed JJ a large mug filled with coffee having spent enough time with her to know without asking that she would want it and that she liked it black.
"Let me finish these up and we'll get you fed."
"Need any help?"
"I'm almost done but you can grate a little cheese if you'd like while I prepare the eggs. There's also some juice in the fridge if you want some."
They finished making their breakfast and sat down to a nice meal, holding hands, and staring at each other both lost in the magic that is present at the beginning of every new relationship; both hoping against hope that this was one that would stand the test of time.
"God, Emily, that was the best omelette I've ever had."
"Jayj, I think maybe you were just hungry."
"Maybe but it was still delicious."
Emily smiled and ran her fingers lightly across JJ's forearm before pulling her towards her for a kiss. JJ ended up sitting in Emily's lap as the two sat in Emily's kitchen making out for several minutes. Emily pulled back to look at JJ.
"I need a shower. Care to join me?"
"Lead the way."
They took turns washing each other's hair which led to them having sex again before cleaning up, getting out, and helping dry each other off. JJ walked back into Emily's bedroom and suddenly realized all she had to wear was her dress from last night; she didn't even have a bra with her.
"This is going to be fun." JJ said aloud
Emily looked in her closet for something she could give JJ to wear settling on a tricot tracksuit and a t-shirt.
"I think this'll wo…" Emily started to say before realizing she was alone in her bedroom. "Jayj?"
JJ came walking back into Emily's bedroom carrying her purse. She reached inside and pulled out a pair of clean panties.
"Boy scout, Jayj?"
"Girl scout motto too, Em. And yes I was."
Emily chuckled "Were you expecting to need those Agent Jareau?"
"Hmm, maybe hoping is a better word."
Watching JJ drop her towel and put them on Emily smiled "I think there was more material covering your arm the other day than there is on you right now."
The smile faded from JJ's face and Emily realized that JJ wasn't quite ready to joke about what had happened to her in that barn. Emily cringed and wished she could take it back.
"JJ, honey, I'm sorry."
Knowing JJ was upset, Emily moved over to wrap her arms around JJ's practically naked body.
"That was really insensitive of me, JJ. I can't tell you how sorry I am."
"It's okay, Em. I know you didn't mean anything by it. I'm just not ready to joke about it. Not yet. I hated to have to kill them you know."
"I know Jayj but they weren't normal cuddly dogs. They would have ripped your throat out if you'd given them half a chance." Emily shuddered at the thought
"I know. I just don't want you to think I enjoyed doing that."
"Oh baby, I would never think that for a second."
"Okay. I just wanted to make sure you knew that."
"How can I make it up to you?" Emily asked seductively kissing JJ's neck and palming a breast.
"Hmmm. You can let me borrow your car."
Emily's head snapped up in surprise, "Okay. Not what I was expecting to hear."
"I need to go home and change." JJ said pulling away and starting to get dressed in Emily's clothes.
"You don't think this will work?" pointing to the clothes JJ had started to put on
"Are you going to want me to stay tonight?"
"I hadn't thought that far but I wouldn't mind."
"Then I'm definitely going to need a change of clothes. Just let me borrow your car. I'll go home, change, grab some clothes, tend to a couple of errands, and come right back."
"Oh My God! You don't want me driving your car do you?" JJ exclaimed
Emily just stood looking at her
"Seriously, Em. You trust me with your body and hopefully your heart but you don't trust me with an automobile?"
"It's not just an automobile, JJ. It's MY Lexus LS. It's my baby."
"You didn't mind me riding in your baby last night without any underpants, Em."
Emily just stared at her again
"I could drive you home and bring you back." Emily said hoping that would diffuse the situation. She just didn't like anybody driving her Lexus.
JJ looked at her like she was trying to say something without hurting her feelings.
"Emily, I, um…" JJ started and then stopped puffing out a breath of air. " I, um, would like a little time to myself. To think about what happened last night…and again this morning. I think you could use the time too."
Emily looked at JJ rather shocked to hear her say those words.
"JJ, do you regret what's happened between us?"
"NO! Not even a little bit. But the feelings I have for you are very intense and I need to sort through them. I can't do that with you here."
Emily started to fidget with her hands like she always did when she was nervous. But was it because of what JJ said, how she was feeling, or the fact that JJ wanted to borrow her car? JJ was looking at her with her beautiful blue eyes and Emily melted.
"Damn it! Don't look at me like that." Emily cried
"Like what?" JJ said playing it innocently
"You're going to win every argument we ever have aren't you?"
"I'm pretty much going to try." JJ said kissing Emily softly on the lips
After JJ finished putting on the clothes and a pair of sneakers Emily lent her, she ran a brush through her wet hair, and then Emily reluctantly gave her the keys to her car.
"Be careful, JJ."
"Because you're worried about me or your car?"
"Good to know where I stand, Prentiss."
JJ kissed her and got in the car to head towards home.
"I'll be back in a few hours."
Emily groaned as she watched JJ drive away
"She wasn't very happy you didn't want her to drive your car, you know," Garcia said. She loved listening to Emily's story of their first morning together.
"Look. I still don't like when she drives my car but I let her do it every now and again."
"And you make her a nervous wreck every time you do. She lets you drive her car all the time."
"Yes but there's a difference."
"And what's that?"
"I'm a better driver."
"You better hope she didn't hear you say that."
"I know she talked to you about us that morning but she's never told me what you two talked about. Can I know now?"
Garcia smiled and started to talk.
After she hit the highway, JJ dialed her best friend.
"Good morning, Sunshine" Garcia said when she answered her phone
"Hey, G! You doing anything right now?"
"Not really. Just got back from my Saturday morning errands and was trying to figure out what I was going to do for the rest of the day."
"Wanna fill up an couple of those hours at my house?"
"Sure. You okay, JJ?"
"Yeah. I just need someone to talk to. I'll be home in about 30 minutes."
"I'll meet you there."
JJ answered the door for her friend about five minutes after she had arrived home.
"Is Emily here?" Garcia asked as she walked through JJ's front door
"Isn't that her car out front?"
"So Prentiss' car is here but she isn't?"
"JJ you're acting a little strange. You call me over here to talk but you're not exactly talking. You have Emily's car in your driveway but no Emily. What's going on, sugar?"
JJ paced around her living room a little before she was ready to continue
"I had a date last night."
"Right! The flowers!" Garcia exclaimed looking at the bouquet sitting on JJ's table
"Yes. The flowers."
"Something happen on that date, Jayj? You okay?"
"Garcia…the date was, um…" Damn it, JJ thought to herself. You make your living with words why was this so hard?
"Was what, JJ?"
"IwentonadatewithEmily." JJ was finally able to say but having it rush out all at once
"OH! Hmmm…"Garcia started
"Nothing Jayj, I was just thinking."
"I have to say I think you two make a cute couple."
JJ stepped forward to give her friend a hug "Thank you!"
"Are you struggling with this JJ? I know Emily isn't the first woman you've ever been out with."
"I know. It's not that. It's just that it's Emily. She's one of my best friends and we work together. And I…" JJ stopped herself
"You what, JJ"
"You know me, Garcia. I don't fall for people. I always find a way to just keep it in the moment. To enjoy the company and then run before it starts to get too serious. To run before I get hurt. At least that's been my M.O. for the last few years."
"And you don't want to run this time." Garcia said rather than asked
"Do you love her?"
"Yes." JJ said simply
"And that scares you"
Garcia wrapped up her friend in her arms and hugged her hard. "JJ…Emily's not Kate. You need to stop being afraid of getting hurt again. One day you will meet someone who will never hurt you. Who wants nothing more than to make you happy. To love you unconditionally. Emily might be that person. Do you think she feels the same way?"
"Yes but she's not ready to admit that."
"I came close last night but stopped myself."
"Because I knew she wouldn't say it back. It's too soon for her. But I feel it already. I know we have a chance for something real and that terrifies the shit out of me."
"Don't be afraid of it, JJ"
"Ha! That's what I told her last night. I know you're right but I am. I have to be confident for her but I have my fears too. Who's going to help me overcome mine?"
"Uh, Jayj…I think that's why you called me." Garcia said hugging her best friend again.
Garcia separated from her friend "So tell me about your date. Was there sex?"
JJ just smiled and laughed shyly as she looked at the floor
"There WAS sex. Spill it Jareau!" Garcia exclaimed excitedly
"So she spilled it." Garcia told Emily
"All of it?"
"Well no, not in any great detail. JJ does have her limits but I know you two had sex up on that observation deck that night and then went back to your place."
"I couldn't help myself. I tried but she's like my kryptonite."
"Ha! SuperPrentiss brought down by Jareau-ium!"
Emily laughed. She loved Garcia and her naturally ability to always lighten a mood no matter how dark. Sometimes when they were on a case and things started to weigh them down a call to Garcia was all they needed to feel whole again. They all felt that way, even Hotch. Garcia was love!
"So Emily, what were you doing while JJ was talking to me?"
A few hours! Emily thought to herself. How long does it take to change and gather a few clothes? What was really bothering her was JJ's remark about needing time to think about what had happened between them. JJ seemed so confident when she finally broke down all of Emily's walls; first at her house the night they returned from Georgia and then up on the roof of the observation deck. Did she have the same worries that Emily had? If that were the case, they might be in trouble. What if neither of them were strong enough to make a go of this…thing. What was this? Was this love? Emily was fairly sure she'd never been in love. At least she knew she had never felt this way about anybody else. Sure she'd had sex and relationships before but was any of it truly love? If the way she felt about JJ was love, then the answer was definitely no.
Emily tried and failed miserably to stay busy and keep her mind off of things while waiting for JJ to come back. She wasn't going to call her. JJ said she needed some time to sort though things. Emily was going to respect that no matter how much it was killing her. JJ said she would be back and Emily had no reason to doubt that. As she was pacing and thinking Emily resolved herself to be upfront with JJ. To never hold anything back. That had been one of her biggest problems in past relationships…she had always been too afraid of getting hurt to say how she truly felt. She was not going to let that happen with JJ.
After four of the longest hours of her life, JJ called her to let her know she was headed back into the city.
"Hi baby" JJ said when Emily answered
"Hi Jayj, you okay?"
"Yeah. How 'bout you?"
"I've missed you" that's a start thought Emily to herself
"I've missed you too, sweetheart. I'm about 20 minutes away from ho…from your place. Are you hungry?"
"A little. Are you?" Had JJ almost said home, Emily thought
"I would have gone grocery shopping but someone has my car."
"She's fine by the way. She drives like a dream."
"I know she does. Tell her I miss her too. I can order a pizza from the place on the corner you like. You could stop and pick it up on the way back."
"Sounds good. Mushroom and olive?"
"Perfect. I'll call it in. See you in a little bit."
JJ got back to Emily's place about 40 minutes after they spoke with their hot pizza. The two of them ate and drank a glass of wine mostly in silence neither of them knowing how to quite put what they were feeling into words. Emily picked up the plates and was cleaning up a little when she felt JJ's arms slip around her waist from behind.
"I really missed you this afternoon, Em."
Emily turned around to face her lover properly and kissed her. The two of them stood in Emily's kitchen kissing, their arousal starting to bloom again. JJ stopped to look into Emily's dark eyes, "Tell me what you're feeling, Emily"
"I'm scared," Emily answered truthfully
"I am too Emily. You said yesterday that I frighten you; that I make you feel things you've never felt before. You do that to me too, Em. But we can't continue to be afraid or we will never find what we both seem to be looking for."
"Then tell me."
"How I feel." Emily stated trying to conjure up the right words to say to JJ so she knew what was going on inside both her head and her heart. Emily wasn't sure if she'd ever been this afraid to say how she felt before.
"Tell me what you're feeling, baby."
"Se que es pronto y aunque tengo miedo, creo que estoy enamorada de ti."
JJ softly chuckled "Not in Spanish, Emily"
"Je sais qu'il est encore trop tôt et je ne peux pas dire que je ne suis pas effrayée, mais je pense que je suis amoureuse de toi"
JJ sighed in frustration "In English please."
"What, your last name is Jareau. I figured I was good with French" Emily joked
JJ smiled "You figured wrong. Tell me what you want to tell me. In English. Please."
Tenderly holding JJ's cheek in her hand, Emily closed her eyes for a second and took a deep breath before saying, "I know it's really soon and I can't say I'm not scared, but I think I'm in love with you."
JJ kissed Emily fully and passionately on the mouth. Pulling away, JJ said tenderly, "I think I love you too, Emily," before resuming the assault on Emily's lips. "Take me to bed, Em, and make love with me."
"All night long, baby, all night long."
As they headed upstairs Emily knew that JJ had been right. They both needed a few hours apart to process what was happening between them. Emily didn't think she'd ever been this happy and it was all due to the wonderful woman she was leading upstairs to her bedroom. Emily had told so very few people in her life that she loved them. It felt good and she was happy that she didn't have to dance around her feelings. This is exactly what she meant when she said no games, no bullshit. Her and JJ were on the same page.
After thoroughly enjoying each other over the course of several hours, the two lovers lay sleeping with Emily spooned behind JJ. Emily loved the feel of JJ's naked body against hers. She had one arm over JJ's waist the other under the pillow JJ's head was resting on. It was early morning and Emily was just starting to wake listening to the gentle sound of JJ breathing while she slept. As Emily listened however, she noticed that the light noises JJ had been making seemed to be turning into whimpers.
Emily was just about to gently nudge JJ when suddenly JJ bolted upright, startled and panicking. Clutching the covers to her naked body, JJ started to cry.
"Ssshhh. Ssshhh. Baby, it's okay. You're okay. It's Emily – you're safe with me." Emily sat up and held JJ. She rocked her lover gently and kissed her bare shoulders trying to provide as much comfort as possible to the shaken young woman. After several minutes, she felt JJ begin to calm down though she could still feel her trembling.
"I'm sorry, Emily."
"Baby, please don't apologize for something you can't help. Are you okay?"
"I think so. It was really bad this time."
"The woods again?"
Emily got out of bed and went to her dresser to grab a couple of oversized t-shirts she usually liked to sleep in. She knew JJ was feeling very exposed right now and she wanted her to be comfortable.
"Put this on, babe. You're shivering." Emily said putting one on too as she tried to keep the true intentions of the gesture hidden from JJ. She climbed back in bed, sat up against the headboard, and drew her lover tightly to her. Even after putting on Emily's shirt JJ was trembling; still shaken by the nightmare that woke her from her slumber.
"God I hate when I wake up like this."
"At least you weren't alone, Jayj."
"I know. Thank you for being here."
"Sure baby." Emily said kissing JJ's forehead, "Tell me about the dream, JJ"
"I'm not sure I can."
"Yes you can. Tell me. It might help chase your nightmares away."
After thinking it over, JJ slowly began,
"I'm in the woods, surrounded by trees and fog. I can't find my way out. I can hear people calling my name…'Jennifer', 'Jennifer' but I can't see them. They sound so far away and their voices are getting further and further. I can hear the sounds of dogs barking in the distance. I'm crying and I keep calling after them telling them not to leave me but they don't hear me. They don't stop. The sky is getting darker and the fog is getting heavier. I can hear frogs croaking and it's so loud. They won't stop. I'm cold and the air is wet. The trees are starting to take on a life of their own. Their trunks look like they're laughing at me. And their branches seem like they are reaching out to grab me. I usually wake up just as they are about to touch me. It seems so real, Em."
Emily could see JJ breaking out in a sweat and starting to get upset again so she wrapped her in her arms and gently rocked her. After a while, JJ calmed down a bit and started to relax into Emily.
"Thanks for being here. For making me talk about it. I haven't in a long time"
Emily settled back down into her bed bringing JJ down with her. The two lay there holding each other just relishing the fact that they both seemed to like where they were at this point in time. Emily could imagine spending every Sunday like this, wrapped in her lover's arms just kissing and talking and seeing where this road took them.
The two decided to leave the comfort of Emily's warm bed to venture out in the cool February weather both happy that it wasn't snowing. Emily took JJ to The Flea Market at Eastern Market near Capitol Hill. It was a lively open-air flea market that was open every Sunday and was a wonderful way to pass a day. Emily loved that JJ held her hand as they walked through the various vendors that displayed their wares. Emily delighted in watching JJ take everything in as JJ pulled her through the market. As JJ was talking to a seller about the various black and white photographs he had in his booth, Emily meandered over to a jewelry vendor. There she found a gorgeous piece that caught her eye, a simple sterling silver bracelet with blue topaz stones. She quietly bought it for JJ and slipped it in her pocket.
After dropping their purchases off at Emily's car, the lovers continued walking around the area stopping at a small, quiet café for lunch.
"Can't believe what an appetite you can build up shopping," JJ said "You hungry?" JJ asked opening her menu.
"Starved. Did you have fun?"
"It was a blast. We need to go back there soon."
Emily loved hearing "we" from JJ. This was a "we" type situation they had going on here she thought. She didn't want it to end but she knew that, come tomorrow, things would be different for them and they needed to talk about it. So after the waitress brought over the glasses of wine that they'd ordered when they first sat down, Emily decided now was as good as time as any to talk to JJ about going back to work in the morning.
"For the first time since I joined the BAU, I don't want to go to work tomorrow." Emily said reaching over, taking JJ's hand and interlocking their fingers together.
JJ looked up from her menu and looked at Emily.
"I was hoping to forget about that until then."
"We need to talk about it, Jennifer. Obviously things have changed between us and we have to discuss what that means as far as work is concerned."
JJ thought a moment before speaking "I don't think it means anything as far as work is concerned. I mean we – meaning the team – rarely discuss our personal lives as it is. Why should this be any different? At least for now."
"Do you think it's possible for us to put this aside while we're working?"
"I hope so. Do I think it's going to be easy? No. But possible? Yes."
"It was hard enough for me last week, Jayj. And all I'd done was kiss you. Now that we've, um, 'been together' it's only going to be harder."
JJ smiled at the way Emily whispered her last line
Emily continued, "We need to set some ground rules here because I'm not ready to come out to the team."
"Neither am I, but you do need to know something, Em."
"Garcia already knows."
"That I'm gay!"
"Well yes but only because I told her about us."
"What? When? Oh crap…yesterday when you had my car. That's why it took you so long!" Emily said trying to keep her voice down though it was rising.
"Yes. I needed someone to talk to. She's my rock. She's not going to say anything, Em." JJ tried to reassure her
"You said you knew. Had you already spoken to her about me?"
"Surprisingly no. We'd never discussed it before. Which kind of amazes me now that I think about it." JJ joked
"Not funny, Jayj. I try to keep my sexuality private from most people."
"Emily, it's not like I broadcast mine all over the place. Garcia isn't going to out you – or us. She isn't like that. Yes I know she relishes the juicy gossip that comes her way and she was trying to pry the name of the person that sent the flowers out of me, but she also is one of the most protective people I know. She would never hurt me. Or you."
"I really hope you know what your talking about, JJ"
"I do. Gossip about other office personnel is grist for the mill but the BAU, we're her family and she'd sooner die that hurt any of us."
Emily looked at JJ skeptically – it was Garcia they were talking about.
"That and I know way too many of her secrets for her to go pissing me off," JJ added with a smile. JJ could see by the look on Emily's face that she didn't find it amusing.
Squeezing Emily's hand, JJ added, "Emily, Garcia has never broken my trust. She has guarded every secret I have ever told her with her life."
After the waitress came over to take their lunch order, Emily resumed the conversation, "So, Jayj, tell me some of your secrets."
"What do you want to know?" JJ asked
"Well, how old were you when you lost your virginity?"
"With a boy?"
"Yes. Kyle Mathis."
"Who was he…the high school quarterback?"
"As a matter of fact, yes."
"Were you the homecoming queen?"
JJ just stared at her.
"Oh my god! You were!"
"I'm not surprised JJ. You're a beautiful woman, I would imagine you were beautiful in high school too." Emily could tell JJ was a little embarrassed so she changed the subject.
"Sorry. I guess we got off track a little. Tell me about, Kyle. Did you love him?"
"I suppose I did. You know, kids think they're in love to justify teenage hormones. But I think I did love him. We were together for a couple of years. He, um, even asked me to marry him before I left for Pitt."
"What? You were engaged once?"
"No, he asked but I didn't say yes. Emily, I wanted so badly to escape East Allegheny. I was suffocating there. Hell, even though the campus was well with driving distance, my scholarship included housing and I took it. I was finally free and didn't have to be Jenny Jareau anymore. If I'd married Kyle, I'd still be there. He's a very close friend of my brother Paul and they work together at US Steel. He married Susan Davis, another friend of ours from high school, and they've had four kids in eight years. I'm sure it's a good life but it's not the one I wanted. I always wanted something more; something different."
"Don't ask. I could never stand that name but it was either Jennifer or Jenny. Except on the soccer field. There I was always JJ."
"So you broke his heart?"
"It really was for the best. We dated for a few more months but it was never going to work out the way he wanted it too. It wasn't fair to him. I needed to find myself before I could commit like that."
"Did college help with that?"
"College almost destroyed me."
"Really, JJ? What happened?"
"Oh!" Emily said as the waitress brought over their salads and their second glasses of wine.
"So who's Kate Gianelli, JJ?"
JJ hesitated and Emily could tell that Kate Gianelli wasn't a good subject for her.
"Kate was a year older and a teammate on my soccer team at Pitt. We hit it off almost as soon as I joined the team and she asked me to share her off-campus apartment after her previous roommate flaked." JJ started to explain. "She floored me. I had always felt an attraction to women. Changing in the locker room was always a bit of a challenge. Trying to keep my appreciation for the female anatomy to myself. But I had never acted on my feelings. I considered myself straight."
"Until Kate. We danced around each other for a year. Kind of difficult when you share an apartment. We realized we had feelings for each other and one thing led to another."
"Sounds kind of familiar." Emily said remembering how they had started
"I know and I don't want you to think that I make a habit out of doing that." JJ said with a slight smile. "It was my first experience with a woman and I realized that I rather enjoyed it. We fell in love – or rather I did."
"Sorry, JJ. Kate didn't return your feelings?"
"At first I thought she did. We lived together for a year and a half as more than roommates. I thought we were in love. At least until I caught her in our bed with our keeper."
"Goalkeeper on our team. I was supposed to spend the evening at a party for my grandmother but when it ended earlier than expected I went home to be with Kate. Turns out they had been having a relationship behind my back. I found out I was just a conquest for Kate. She told teammates and friends that it took her a year but she finally got me into bed. That it was all just a game. That I meant nothing more to her than just a really good fuck. Kate hurt me, Em. She completely devastated me."
"Oh, Jayj. I'm sorry, baby. I could never imagine anyone doing that to you."
"Yeah well. It had an impact, Em. I walk away from my last year of eligibility on my scholarship. Most people think I left Pitt because Georgetown is a better communications and journalism school but really I left because of Kate. I worked my ass off to pay for Georgetown. My parents were pissed that I left scholarship money on the table so they wouldn't help out, not that they could have afforded much anyway. But I couldn't stay and see her every day – it hurt too much."
Emily felt bad for JJ. She'd been hurt in the past too and could totally relate to wanting to pack everything up and get the hell out of Dodge.
"So what happened after you moved?"
"I decided to go back to men but discovered that I missed being with women. I've had a tendency to bounce back and forth since Kate. So you could say I, ah…"
"More like I have a decided lack of preference. Men, women…it didn't really matter as long as I found you interesting and was attracted to you. Just don't get too close. Since then I've always just tried not to get hurt. I've run when it started to get serious. I've kept my heart so guarded. Until now."
"Because I love you, Emily. With others – and it's not like there've been a lot but there've been enough - they always felt more for me that I did for them. With you, I want to be with you. I can't stop thinking about you. Why do you think you're the first person I look at when I walk into a room? I've been in love with you for a long time. I just…I just was…"
Emily took JJ's hand, "Scared?"
"But Emily, I don't want to be scared anymore. The only place I want to run is into your arms." JJ admitted
Emily got up from her side of the table and squatted before JJ taking her face gently between her hands, "I love you too, Jennifer."
Emily kissed JJ softly on the lips – not giving a damn that they were in the middle of a restaurant with people staring at them – and reached into her pocket for the bracelet she'd bought at the flea market. Placing it on JJ's wrist and fastening the clasp, Emily kissed JJ's knuckles then pulled her into a warm embrace.
"What's this?" asked JJ
"There are three great things that can happen to you in your life. The first thing is for you to love someone. The second thing is to have someone love you. And the third greatest thing is to have the first and second thing happen at the same time."
JJ stared at Emily then down to the bracelet and then finally back to Emily not knowing what to say.
"I don't know. Hallmark card or something." Emily said
JJ laughed and then kissed Emily
"It's beautiful. And so are you." JJ said, "Thank you."
"Tomorrow when we're at work and you need a reminder that I'm in love with you, look at the bracelet and think of me."
The two decided to take a walk just enjoying the remainder of their Sunday afternoon together. They ducked into a few shops but mostly they just talked and walked. They held hands and kissed unabashedly. As evening approached, Emily knew it was time for their wonderful weekend to come to an end. With great sadness she drove JJ back home to Woodbridge. JJ tried to break the somber mood in the car by asking Emily a few personal questions of her own.
"So, Emily, how old were you when you lost your virginity?"
"Fifteen. John Cooley."
"High school boyfriend?" JJ asked
"Ah, no. My mother got a post in Rome. John's father worked for the State Department and was friends with my parents. He and his friend Matthew Benton were my constant companions for a while. I was trying to fit in and did something stupid."
"You had sex with him."
"Yes. Growing up, moving around all the time. It's hard on a kid, especially a teenager. I didn't know I was gay then. I didn't figure that out until much later. So I slept with him and have never regretted anything more. I hated it. Didn't have sex again until college."
"Oh Em. I'm sorry you didn't have a good first experience."
"You have no idea, Jayj."
"Tell me about it?"
"I will. Someday. But right now we are at la maison de Jareau."
Emily got out of her car and walked over to open the door for JJ. They unloaded JJ's overnight bag and the items she had bought at the flea market and went inside. They made love in JJ's bed for the first time and then lay there in each other's arms not wanting what they were feeling to end. Their love was new and fragile and both just wanted to wrap it up and protect it. To keep it safe and away from the prying eyes of people that probably wouldn't understand, and that included their friends that they worked with.
It was getting late and Emily knew she needed to head back to DC so she quietly got out of bed and, in silence, got dressed to leave. Neither knew what to say to the other; both felt tremendously sad. JJ threw on her robe to walk Emily to the door.
"I don't want you to leave." JJ whispered trying to hold back the tears she felt brewing
"You don't know how much I'd rather stay but we have to work tomorrow. We'll see each other there."
"It's not going to be the same. I won't be able to do this" JJ said kissing Emily
Emily groaned knowing full well that JJ was naked under the robe she was wearing. The two had made love several times over the course of the weekend and it still wasn't enough for either of them. Emily had never had such synchronicity with a lover before. Emily kissed the soft skin in the crook of JJ's neck; which was rapidly becoming her new favorite spot on this Earth. Breathing out a big sigh of regret, Emily withdrew and then leaned in and kissed JJ goodbye once more.
"Tomorrow is going to be so difficult."
"Yes it will be. Em, if nothing comes up to take us out of town, will you come over for dinner tomorrow night?"
"I'd love to."
"Good it's a date."
"I am worried about us being able to hide this from a team of profilers, Jennifer."
"Well that would probably be a good start."
"You probably shouldn't call me Jennifer in the office."
"It'll be okay, Em. Just remember to compartmentalize and it will be fine. I love you."
"I love you too, baby."
"I can't believe you were able to keep that hidden from us for so long."
Emily had been lost in her thoughts and was startled at hearing the voice of their Unit Chief who had snuck in to check on them.
"Jesus, Hotch, good thing we're in a hospital. At least the Cardiac Care Unit would be close when one of you gives me a heart attack sneaking in here."
"I wasn't aware I was sneaking. I'll try to make more noise next time." Hotch said, a smile creeping onto his normally stoic features. "I brought you some breakfast. You must be hungry."
When Aaron Hotchner walked into JJ's room, Emily could tell that someone had convinced him to go get some rest. The bloodied shirt he had been wearing the day before was gone and so were some of the bags from under his eyes. You could tell he was still under a great deal of stress but at least he looked like he had been able to get some sleep and a shower. He could tell immediately that Emily noticed he's done a little cleaning up and he felt guilty for leaving.
"Garcia nagged me until I agreed to leave for a little bit."
"Humph. She can be rather persuasive can't she? She's the reason I got in a shower. She wasn't going to take no for an answer."
"I feel bad for leaving, Emily. It didn't feel right with JJ still in a coma."
"No worries, Hotch. It's my responsibility to sit here with her not yours."
"On a personal level yes, Emily. But she was shot in the line of duty. As the Unit Chief, I have to take the professional responsibility not you. I've also got three agents still out there looking for this guy and I'm responsible for them too. My biggest fear is that something will happen to them while I'm here."
"You can go help them. I told Morgan to take you with them when they left."
"Emily, JJ isn't just an agent or a media liaison to me. She is my friend and you know that. JJ is like a sister to me. I care deeply for her and my place is here."
"I know you care a lot about her, Hotch. I just don't want you to beat yourself up about her being here, you leaving, or about the guys out there looking for this creep without you. I just want to let you know there wasn't anything you could do about this."
"I knew she resembled the unsub's victims in this case, Emily. We all did. That's why you didn't want her out of your sight. I should have taken more precautions. Done the press conference inside. Had somebody else do it."
"You know JJ would have killed you if you did that."
"I know. That temper of hers."
"Ha! Yeah, well, we both have our moments."
"Speaking of which. I had a conversation with Donna Jareau last night." Hotch said
"Oh. I really shouldn't have laid into her Hotch. It wasn't the time or place for that conversation."
"I had Garcia book her into our hotel. She was here most of the night but I convinced her to go to the hotel with me and get some sleep. Maybe after some rest, cooler heads will prevail, Emily?"
"I'll try. I really will. For JJ's sake. She's the only reason why nothing was said to Donna before now. JJ felt it would sever the relationship irrevocably. She really does love her family. They may not get her…hell, they may have never gotten her, but she loves them. She wants to maintain the relationship. To have Henry get to know his grandparents. We both hope one day that will happen."
Hotch knew what it was to have high hopes for your child despite a fractured family. He rarely got to see his own son, Jack, much less have Jack spend time with anyone else in his family. He hoped one day he could mend the relationship with his ex-wife, Haley, whom he still loved deeply. If not, he hoped that one day he would meet another woman to fall in love with, to have more children with. This time one that understood the passion he had for his job and the demands of it; the long hours, the sleepless nights, the travel away from home, the pieces of self that it takes from you.
That's why he understood and admired the relationship that these two women shared. They had found in each other the one person in the world that truly understood what their jobs meant to them and would never make them choose between it and them. The hierarchy of the FBI strictly frowned upon fraternization within a unit but Hotch understood it and protected Emily and JJ as best he could. Though in the end he had failed in that regard, he did try. Of course that was once he had found out…a good three months after their relationship had begun. He smiled as he remembered how surprised he was to find out about this relationship that was going on right under his nose.
"I just wanted to bring you something to eat and to check on both of you. I'll leave you alone with her. I know it's probably easier for you to talk when there aren't prying ears to listen. This has to all be very personal and painful for you."
"I've remembered a lot about our time together. How we became to be. How two strong individuals finally stopped wanting to be individual entities and became one. She is my heart and my soul. And talking about our lives has helped me through this pain."
"She will pull through this, Emily. You must believe and have faith in that."
"Thanks, Hotch. And thanks for the," Emily looked into the bag Hotch had handed her, "muffins. Yum!"
"Figured something that could be eaten at room temp was probably best. There's an extra Splenda in the bag in case the one I put in your coffee isn't enough." Hotch said pointing to the Styrofoam cup he had also handed to Emily.
"Thanks for that too, Hotch. And thanks for being here to support JJ. It means a lot to me and I'm sure it will mean a lot to her too. And if she'd fucking wake up she could tell you that." Emily said with a half-hearted laugh. Hotch smiled at both of them and then turned to leave.
As he left Emily to be alone with JJ, he said, "You know…I'm still impressed that you two managed to keep this relationship hidden from a team of profilers for, what was it, three months?"
"I tell you, those were three of the best – yet hardest – months of my life." Emily said to Hotch as he left.
It was exhausting keeping a secret from the people you're in contact with the most – especially ones who's sole purpose in life is to read behavior. Emily opened one of the blueberry muffins and took a bite as she recalled the early stages of their relationship.
The first few days after Emily and JJ had started seeing each could easily be described as both the best and the worst of Emily's life. It was so difficult to go back to pretending like they were just co-workers and close friends instead of lovers. If seeing JJ walk into a room was distracting for Emily before, well it was excruciating now. All she could think about was hurrying through her day so she could spend time with Jennifer at her place. Since JJ lived much closer to work, that's where they spent most of their evenings during the week if they weren't out of town on a case.
They had quickly established some ground rules. They would leave work at different times so as not to attract attention. In the first few days, it had been JJ to leave first since she didn't want Emily to sit in front of her house waiting for her. She realized that was not always going to be possible, so she gave Emily a key to her home and her extra remote for her two-car garage so people wouldn't see Emily's car out front all the time. Emily was a bit hesitant to take both the key and the remote but, in the end, practicality won out. They would go to JJ's house and cook dinner together. Then talk or watch a little TV before inevitably, because they were in that just together can't get enough of each other stage, ending up in JJ's bed. The hardest part of every evening was leaving after making love. All Emily wanted to do was spoon up next to her lover and fall asleep with JJ in her arms. But instead, she had to dress and leave the woman she loved for the long drive home.
It was JJ that first suggested Emily pack a second go bag. This one in case she fell asleep or just didn't want to head home. At first Emily was reluctant to do that, too. She already had a key; she didn't want JJ to think that she was invading her personal space. That she was moving in. But JJ didn't seem to care. She just wanted Emily to be there with her, holding her, sleeping beside her, and occasionally soothing her from her nightmares when one happened to wake her up.
The both relished their time together. In fact, JJ had stopped working her long, crazy hours to be at her home with Emily. This led to her falling a little behind in case reviews and she knew she'd better fix that before it became noticeable. So JJ started bringing some case files home with her; which had always been a viable option and one that was completely acceptable. Prior to her relationship with Emily, JJ preferred to keep her home life separate from her work life so she had rarely done it but now she had a reason to leave the office at a reasonable hour every day. She would discuss them with Emily as Emily prepared dinner. Emily surprised JJ with her skills in the kitchen – she could make more than omelettes. Emily had always liked to cook she just didn't do a lot of it before because she didn't have anyone to cook for.
JJ would read over the facts of cases while Emily would prepare sea scallops in a white wine sauce, chicken cacciatore, pad Thai noodles with fresh spring vegetables, and other dishes that quickly became some of JJ's favorites. The only thing Emily really had to get used to as far as JJ's eating habits were concerned was that JJ rarely ate red meat.
Going over the case files didn't lead to the most romantic of conversations, but JJ knew if she fell behind Hotch would want to know why and they weren't ready to clue their boss into their relationship. Besides, it was nice to bounce stuff off of someone for a change. JJ usually selected their cases by herself. Now she had valuable insight from one of the team's best profilers. Normally by the time dinner was ready, JJ was caught up enough to enjoy a nice meal and then relax with Emily for the rest of the evening.
Then there were the times they spent in the field on cases. They had decided that this is where professionalism must trump any feeling that they shared. It wasn't as hard as one would think considering that when they were working on a case it was often too grueling – and gruesome – to stir up any feeling of romance. They did allow themselves to spend some time together, especially if they were sharing a room, to hold each and sleep in one another's arms. Just no sex, which, needless to say, led to some very interesting plane rides home. Sitting across from each other. Touching each other. Fucking each other with their eyes. All done under the cloak of darkness so none of their team could see. It was all they could do sometimes just to make it inside JJ's house before they succumbed to their passion.
Most weekends, if duty didn't call, were spent at Emily's condo in DC. The city was much bigger than Woodbridge and they were less likely to run into someone they knew. They would go to museums, local flea markets, out to eat, take long walks but mostly they just relaxed with one another in the privacy of Emily's home. Neither had ever been so comfortable in a relationship before. The fears that had first presented themselves had dissipated and both were enjoying the feeling of being in love. That was until one night about five weeks into their relationship, when a whole new set of fears was dragged into Emily's world.
Emily was lying in bed with JJ tucked under her arm and resting her head on her shoulder. They had just arrived home from a case in Houston and Hotch had given the team Friday off for a chance at a long weekend. They planned on using the fact they could sleep in to their advantage and were just lying in bed talking. JJ rolled on her side and propped herself up on her elbow to begin kissing Emily which Emily happily returned. JJ shifted her body so that she was lying on top of Emily. Emily loved when JJ put her weight – all 115 lbs of her – on top of her.
"I love you," JJ whispered
"I love you, too, baby," Emily replied between kisses, "Hey Jayj, this case really got me thinking."
"About" JJ said as she stopped making out with Emily to listen to her lover
"Post traumatic stress disorder."
"Really?" JJ asked. Seeing Emily was serious, JJ said, "Okay. What about PTSD?"
"How do we prevent it in our line of work? We see the worst that humanity has to offer all the time but Roy Woodridge wasn't a bad man. He just couldn't get out of his head. He was fighting his own internal hell. I don't want that…for either of us. How do we prevent that?"
"We talk about things, Em. And we listen to each other. We're lucky. We have one another. Hotch has Haley. But the rest of the team…they don't have someone to be with like this. Someone to love."
JJ resumed kissing Emily and Emily started to let her hands roam down JJ's body and under the pajama top she was wearing when a thought occurred to her.
"Jen, let's go away for a weekend soon."
"Oh, Em, I'd love that. When do you want to go?"
"How about two weeks from today? Give us a chance to plan something nice."
"How about three weeks from today, Em?"
"Why three weeks, JJ? Got plans in a couple of weeks?"
Taking a deep breath because she'd been avoiding this conversation with Emily, JJ started "Well, you know my brother Paul?"
"Promise me you won't ever call him that to his face. He hates that as much as I hate being called Jenny."
Emily laughed. She loved to call JJ's brothers by their initials like JJ went by so Andrew was AJ and Paul was PJ. Emily had never met them but JJ had told her that they both loathed being called by those nicknames.
"Okay, so what about…Paul?"
"Well, Paul knocked up his girlfriend, because apparently they've never heard of birth control in this day and age, so he is getting married in two weeks. I have to go back home for his wedding."
"Oh. How come you hadn't told me until now, Jayj?"
"Because I want you to come with me and I haven't asked you because I didn't want to hear you say no."
Now it was Emily's turn to take a deep breath. "JJ, honey, you know that I would love to go anywhere with you…anywhere."
"Just not East Allegheny." JJ said rolling off of Emily and onto her back.
Emily sighed. This was not a good sign. "Babe, I'm just not a meet the family kind of gal. Please don't take it personally. I've never met anyone's family."
"And this is why I didn't ask."
"Yes but I guess I understand."
"I'll tell you what. I'll think about it. I won't make you any promises but I will think about it and let you know in a couple of days."
"Really, Em?" JJ said excited that the door wasn't shut all the way
Emily rolled on her side, propped herself up on her elbow, and leaned in to kiss JJ.
"Yeah, really. I do love you, Jennifer."
"I know you do," JJ said reaching up to cradle Emily cheek, "Em, I've never wanted to take anyone home to meet my family before. But I love you and I want them to love you too. Can you understand that?"
Emily leaned back down to kiss JJ and they didn't stop kissing and making love until well into the morning hours when the sleep deprived and sexually sated Emily agreed, on her own, to travel to East Allegheny, Pennsylvania to meet her girlfriend's family for the first time.
They both arranged to get some time off, of course using different reasons, and decided to drive to JJ's hometown rather than fly into Pittsburgh and rent a car. East Allegheny, PA is roughly a 4-5 hour drive from Washington, DC so they decided to leave early Friday morning so they could arrive by early afternoon. They took JJ's car, a 2007 Windveil blue Ford Mustang GT convertible, instead of Emily's Lexus so they could take turns driving. Emily made JJ insane whenever JJ drove the Lexus, especially if she was in it with her, and JJ didn't care if Emily drove her Mustang.
They stopped about halfway into their trip to grab a quick breakfast and to top-off both the gas tank and their travel coffee mugs. Emily's nerves really were starting to kick in.
"It's not too late to turn around," Emily said as they were getting back into JJ's car
"Yes it is."
"Tell me why I agreed to do this?"
"Because I made you cum a lot that night," JJ said with an eyebrow devilishly cocked
"Oh yeah. You and that talented tongue of yours." Emily smiled at the thought, "You know, if you had done that last night, I might have let you drive my Lexus this morning."
"We needed to sleep last night. Besides it wouldn't have been worth it." JJ said. She added when she saw the confused look on Emily's face. "By now the afterglow would have worn off and you'd be driving me crazy. 'You're driving too fast.' 'What's that noise?' 'It's my turn to drive.'" JJ said in her mocking Emily voice.
"I don't sound like that." Emily said feigning to be hurt by JJ's words
"You do when you're nagging me about your car," JJ said as she reached over to kiss her girlfriend. "But I love you anyway."
The continued on their way towards East Allegheny talking and singing to songs playing on JJ's stereo but as they got closer JJ observed that Emily got noticeably quiet.
"Talk to me," JJ said
"I'm really nervous, Jayj. Have you even told them you were seeing someone?"
"Not really, Em. I told them I was bringing a friend from work with me."
"I know. I hated calling you that and when they meet you they will automatically think that you are just a friend because you are a woman. I've never told them that I'm gay."
"JJ, I've never heard you call yourself that before."
They were approaching a rest area and JJ took the opportunity to pull over and stop. They were about 60 miles from their destination and JJ wanted to clear up a few things. Pulling her car to a spot in a quiet area of the relatively deserted rest stop, JJ said
"Emily I don't ever want to be with anyone other than you. Ever. How can I possibly still think I don't have a preference when I obviously do?"
Emily looked at JJ. Emily didn't ever want to be with anyone other than JJ either. Even after only 7 weeks together, Emily knew that JJ was it for her. She never thought that she would truly feel that way about someone but she did and she just wanted to shout it from the rooftops. But she knew that neither of them was ready to come out. How could she expect JJ to call her anything other than a friend to her family when Emily wasn't ready to tell her family – or anyone else for that matter - either?
Emily reached over and took JJ's hand, "Jennifer, you know I don't ever see myself with anyone else either right? That I love you so very much? That you're it for me?"
JJ unbuckled her seatbelt and leaned all the way over into Emily's seat to kiss her.
"I'm nervous about this too, Em. Paul's wedding isn't necessarily the best time for this but I rarely get home these days and I really want you to meet my family. I want them to meet someone that I plan on being in my life for a very, very long time. I love you so much, Emily. Perhaps more than I've ever loved anybody. And I mean anybody." JJ said before kissing Emily again.
Emily had undone her seatbelt and had pulled JJ over to her as far as the center console would allow. Their kissing started to fog up the windows of JJ's car. It was getting rather heated in the Mustang.
"Come here," Emily said into JJ's mouth
JJ carefully moved over to the passenger seat, but whacked her shin on the parking brake nonetheless, straddled Emily and removed the jacket she had been wearing.
"This might settle the nerves for both of us." JJ said breathlessly as Emily unbuttoned the shirt JJ had on exposing the soft pink bra that JJ was wearing. Rising up on her knees, JJ brought her breasts to Emily's mouth. Emily lowed JJ's bra and gently took a nipple into her mouth and then moved her hands to undo the button and zipper of JJ's jeans. Slipping a hand into the wet heat of JJ's center, Emily started to deftly manipulate JJ's clit. Emily slipped two long fingers into JJ and started to pump in and out of her lover as JJ began to grind and rock against the welcomed intrusion of Emily's digits until they found their perfect rhythm.
"God, I love when you fuck my hand," Emily said as she locked eyes with dark, dark blue ones and watched JJ enjoy the pleasure that Emily was delivering to her. Emily used her thumb against JJ's clit and brought her to a climax rather quickly. This was neither the time nor the place for a long sexual encounter since, although they had parked in a remote corner of the parking lot, there were still cars occasionally entering and leaving the rest area.
JJ settled back down into Emily's lap and, once she recovered a bit from her own orgasm, started working on the belt that Emily had on, kissing Emily's mouth and neck as she was doing so. After undoing the belt and opening Emily's jeans, JJ slipped her hand into Emily's pants and returned the favor. Both ladies were panting as JJ rested her head against Emily's. "I love you, baby." JJ said, "I think we both needed that," she said with a slight chuckle.
"Not exactly enough but it will have to do for now," Emily said with a mischievous smile
"It's going to be a busy weekend, Em. This might be it until we get home."
"We'll see. We are staying in a hotel right? Nothing saying we'll be sleeping there."
"You have a one track mind, Emily Prentiss."
Emily smiled at JJ and kissed her again, "You don't seem to mind."
JJ smiled back before getting serious again. JJ cupped Emily's face in her hands.
"Em, I want my family to meet you but please try to understand if I'm unable to tell them about our relationship. I want them to know you as my friend – as a person – before their minds narrow once they discover how much you mean to me."
"Why do I think I'm going to hate this weekend?"
JJ put herself back together and got out on the passenger side. Emily got out after her and they both stood there in the now empty parking lot hugging each other for a few minutes. They kissed a little more, went into the surprisingly clean restroom to tidy up a bit, and got back in the car to finish the drive to East Allegheny. About an hour after their pit stop, they pulled up in front of the house that JJ had once called home.
"At least Jennifer gave you a warning. We didn't know anything about the relationship you had with our daughter," Donna Jareau said entering JJ's room once again.
Emily, once again startled from her thoughts, looked up to see the clinched-jaw expression of a woman who really had to force herself to breathe the same air as hers. Emily wondered to herself how much of her already depleted energy this was going to take as she grabbed JJ's hand for strenght and support.
Donna Jareau entered JJ's room with two cups of coffee in her hand and handed one to Emily.
"Good morning, Donna."
Mrs. Jareau handed Emily one of the cups she was carrying. "Good morning. I wasn't sure how you take your coffee so", she said reaching into her jacket pocket, "here you go." She pulled out sugar and sweetener packets in white, yellow, pink, and blue and some little creamer shots.
Emily could tell that JJ's mom was attempting to make an effort and Emily made a mental note to try and meet her halfway…for JJ's sake. Emily smiled, "That's exactly what JJ did the first time she brought me coffee." The memory of that moment, so sweet and caring, just like JJ, made Emily chuckle as she took the pile from JJ's mother.
"Thanks for the coffee" Emily said as she opened a little yellow packet, poured it into her coffee, and stirred it with the plastic stirrer that had also been handed to her. "And Donna, I'm sorry about yesterday. I had no right to lay into you about me and JJ and our relationship."
"Maybe, maybe not. I'm still getting used to my daughter being a, um, …"
"Yes, a lesbian. I know that I've made it hard on you two but..."
"Donna," Emily cut her off, "Can we please not talk about this right now? I just wanted to apologize. Maybe we can talk about what I said a little later. All I have the strength to do right now is drink this coffee and talk a little to JJ."
"Very well, Emily. I understand." She then turned to her only daughter and said, " Honey, I spoke with your dad. He's trying to get her as soon as possible. He loves you and so do I," she said gently squeezing JJ's foot and then moving over to sit back in the chair by the window where she had sat the day before.
Donna had to be honest and admit to herself that she was impressed on how much this woman – a woman she tried so hard to dislike – really seemed to love her daughter. And she already knew that her daughter loved this woman very much. Isn't that what every mother wants, for their children to be happy and not to love in vain? She asked herself. Are you being shortsighted by not seeing how special this relationship is?
Donna Jareau was a little surprised at herself. It was the first time she had just said relationship and hadn't qualified it by placing the word lesbian before it. As she settled into the chair she watched the dark-haired woman looking over her daughter and could hear her begin to speak.
The town JJ grew up in was small, very small. As the arrived in town they passed a couple of churches, a cemetery and both the elementary and high schools.
"My dad's parents are buried in that cemetery. My parents still go to church there."
"Are they religious, JJ?"
"I guess they are. One thing they are for certain though is narrow minded," JJ replied softly
Emily grabbed JJ's hand. "This isn't going to be easy is it? For either of us."
JJ didn't answer her.
Emily could tell as they drove down the main street it didn't have a whole lot to offer. A couple of small family type restaurants, a drug store, a bank, a small grocery story, and a one screen theater that was showing a movie that was released the year before. It was quaint but in a forgettable blip on the map kind of way, not in a quaint way that would attract visitors. The town didn't have a hotel, or even a motel, so JJ had booked them in a hotel a few miles away. It seemed like a nice place to grow up but Emily could certainly understand why JJ would feel suffocated and want to leave so badly. JJ drove towards the end of the main street – her car one of the nicest they had come upon – and turned at the corner where two bars stood catty-corner from each other.
"They call this 'widow crossing' because during football season every man in town can be found right here drinking beer and watching the Steelers play; that includes my dad and my brothers."
"But you like the team in D.C, right?"
"The Redskins. Yes." JJ smiled widely. Her girlfriend knew shit about sports. "I've always liked to be a little different and started to really follow them when I went to Georgetown. Did not please my father."
As they made their turn and started to head out of the "business district" of East Allegheny, Emily saw a closed mechanic's shop that's sign read "Jareau and Son Auto".
"Must have closed the shop for Paul's wedding," JJ said quietly
Emily watched JJ carefully take in the town she grew up almost as if was the first time she'd ever been there. Emily was very concerned how big a toll this weekend was going to take on her girlfriend.
"That your dad's shop?"
"Yeah. It was my grandfather's business. My dad worked for him and now my brother Andrew works for my dad."
"Your brother Paul doesn't work there because they didn't want to change the sign to 'Sons'?" Emily said trying to break the mood she could see starting to overtake JJ.
"Hmmph. Maybe." JJ chuckled. She knew her girlfriend was trying to lighten the heaviness that was starting to permeate the car. "Really it's because Paul and my dad haven't always seen eye to eye so they'd never be able to work together. That's why he joined the Army out of high school. Served in Afghanistan for a while before finally coming home about 4 years ago. Still with the National Guard."
"Really? That's awesome," Emily knew JJ was proud of her brother. "I can't believe your brothers still live here."
"Yeah well, I guess they like the small town life. For me, it was suffocating. I couldn't wait to get out. To live somewhere where you had a little privacy and not everybody knew your business."
Emily could tell that JJ was really apprehensive about being here and, although she knew this weekend was going to be tough, Emily was glad she could be here for JJ.
JJ continued, "The whole town knew when I lost my virginity because Kyle was naïve enough to buy condoms from the local drug store."
"Tell me about it. When my dad heard, he just about wanted to castrate Kyle. I knew the townspeople talked but it was the first time it really had been directed at me. I could literally feel every head turn towards me when I walked into a room. The whispers. The knowing smiles. Maybe it was all my imagination but that's the way this town makes you feel…claustrophobic and invaded. I think that's why I've been such a disappointment to my family, my mother especially." JJ said with a heavy sigh
"Because I didn't want this life. God, do you know what I'd be doing right now if I stayed here? I'd be a housewife, maybe a clerk at the local grocery store, married to Kyle with three or four kids. And probably ready to stick my head in the oven."
"JJ, pull over for a sec."
JJ pulled over on the rural road they had been driving on.
"Honey, I'm here for you. I love you. If you don't want to be here, we can turn this car around and head back home."
Emily could see JJ was struggling to hold back her emotions. This town really made JJ seethe. Small town life is good for some people but definitely not for JJ.
"She's going to do it again when I see her. Make me feel like I'm a disappointment. That I'm wasting my life with the FBI when what I should be doing is finding a man so I can get married and start a family."
"JJ she can't make you feel like that. You can only do that to yourself. And Jennifer you don't have to be with a man for that to happen." Emily held JJ's hand and looked her dead in the eye when she said that. Emily knew that at some point in time they were going to have to have a discussion about their future but, with that look, Emily wanted JJ to know that Emily saw that future with her.
Emily pulled JJ's hand up to her mouth and kissed her knuckles "I love you, Jennifer."
JJ nodded her head and steeled her nerves to continue the short distance to the home she grew up in.
JJ drove past the clapboard houses that dotted the area on the way to JJ's childhood home. Emily noticed that the area was nice but a little depressed. People took pride in their homes but you could certainly tell that it wasn't a town of great wealth. The yards were huge and the houses rather spread out from each other. Some people had junky cars on their lots but, for the most part, Emily could see that the houses and yards were well kept and were the homes of people that worked hard for what they had. Emily couldn't help but also notice that woods, with thick trees and heavy brush, surrounded the entire town. Emily kept thinking about JJ and her nightmares. While Emily could see how they could definitely manifest themselves into JJ's subconscious, she wondered if there was more to the story than met the eye.
The Jareau home was almost the last place on the way out of town. JJ turned into the dirt driveway and parked her car behind at least a half-dozen others. Emily grabbed JJ's hand once more and gave it a gentle squeeze of reassurance before they both got out.
Emily allowed herself a moment to take everything in. This was, after all, the place where her girlfriend had grown up. It was a large lot, probably the largest of the ones Emily had seen since they'd arrived, about a quarter-acre that butted up against a heavily wooded area. Upon it sat a large two-story clapboard house with a wraparound porch. The house probably could use a coat of paint soon but other than that, it was lovely and well kept. It had a small grassy front lawn surrounded by a beautiful garden that was separated from the rest of the lot by a white picket fence. There were two out buildings on the land. One housed a car up on a lift and was surrounded by even more cars than were in the driveway, which Emily presumed was James Jareau's garage. The other was further out back and Emily thought maybe it was a barn but she couldn't be certain. Emily could imagine a young JJ playing in the front yard, laughing and running around and the image made Emily smile. It seemed rather idyllic to Emily considering her own upbringing, the constant moving around, but then she and JJ had discussed how JJ thought traveling the world and seeing everything Emily had seen in her life was far more exciting than the small one note town that she had grown up in. Emily, meanwhile, had always just longed to put down some roots.
"Profiling my family's home, Agent Prentiss?" JJ asked bringing Emily out of her own head.
"You know me so well, Agent Jareau,"
Emily startled when she heard a loud yell coming from the front door.
"Hey everyone, Jenny is home!"
Off the front porch came a woman about JJ's size, maybe about 30 years older, a tad shorter, and 10-15 pounds heavier. She was pretty with sandy blond hair that was pulled back away from her face so Emily could see her hazel colored eyes. Emily noticed the resemblance between JJ and this woman and would have known at once it was her mother - even if she hadn't already seen pictures of her in JJ's home.
JJ walked through the white picket fence and into the front yard leaving the gate open for Emily to follow her through. Emily watched as the older woman gave JJ a hug. Emily heard the front door open and watched as several more people – including a couple of large strapping men – came bounding off the front porch. Emily stood awkwardly, nervously picking at her nails, near the fence as she watched everyone surround her girlfriend and give her hugs.
When everyone was done fussing over JJ being home, JJ motioned for Emily to join her.
"Everyone, this is Emily Prentiss, my friend from the Bureau."
Emily was introduced to Donna, JJ's brothers Andrew and Paul, Andrew's wife Maggie who was holding JJ's six-month old niece Abby, Andrew and Maggie's sons Jimmy and Kenny, and Paul's visibly pregnant fiancée, Courtney, the bride to be.
Although they were all polite enough in their greetings, Emily could definitely feel them sizing her up and giving her the once over. It was a little unsettling for her. "Where is the Kevlar when you really need it," Emily thought to herself.
JJ held out her hands to hold her niece. She hadn't been home since Christmas and Abby had grown so much in the three and a half months since JJ had last seen her. JJ told Emily seeing Abby was one of the things she was looking forward to the most.
"Hey pretty, girl," JJ cooed to Abby. "Gosh, she's gotten so big," she said to Maggie.
"THERE'S MY GIRL!" Came a boisterous holler from the front porch as the front screen door slammed shut.
Emily looked up to see an even larger version of JJ's brothers standing at the top step.
"Oh! Oh! Daddy!" JJ said handing Abby back to her sister-in-law
James Jareau was a big bear of a man. He stood about 6'2" and had to weigh a solid 230 pounds. Barrel-chested and arms the size of tree trunks, he gave off the impression of a man not to be messed with. Until he smiled which made his features soften and his eyes twinkle. Where Emily could certainly see the resemblance between JJ and Donna, JJ looked like her father. They had the same blond hair (at least when JJ didn't color hers), the same dazzling smile, and those same sky-blue colored eyes. James Jareau was a handsome man.
Emily smiled as she watched James lumber over to JJ, pick her up, and twirl her around like she was a little girl. "No wonder she put the baby down," Emily thought to herself, laughing at the sight. Emily loved the way that JJ laughed in her father's arms and Emily could tell that JJ was closer to her father than her mother just by the difference in the way JJ hugged them both. "Stop profiling her, you idiot," Emily chastised herself.
James put JJ back on the ground and directed his blue eyes at Emily
"Well, who'd you bring home with you, flash?"
JJ rolled her eyes. "Dad, this is Emily Prentiss. Emily, my father, James."
James directed a jovial smile at Emily as he took one of her hands into both of his and shook it. "Well aren't you pretty. Welcome to East Allegheny."
Emily began to think that maybe this weekend would turn out all right after all. The Jareau family had welcomed her into their home and seemed like a friendly group of people. "Much friendlier than the Prentiss family that's for sure," Emily thought.
That was until they all got inside and the questions started. They asked about Emily's family and upbringing. The Jareau's were a little surprised they had the daughter of a diplomat in their home. JJ's family, especially Donna, peppered pointed questions at her as to when she joined the bureau and why.
"So have you chosen career over marriage and family too, Emily?" asked Donna Jareau. "Like our Jennifer has?" she added digging at JJ
"I believe that you can have a balance of work and family," replied Emily sneaking a glance at JJ.
"Well Jenny hasn't managed to do it. We've been waiting to hear she's decided to leave that god-awful job she does and settle down. To end this whim she got while she was in college. She's far too pretty to spend her life doing this job."
"You know, Mrs. Jareau, your daughter is very well respected in the FBI. She's the face of the BAU but not because she's pretty, because she's good at her job."
Emily was trying so hard to protect her girlfriend without tipping off any feelings she had towards her. Everyone else in the room was surprisingly quiet and it was at that moment that Emily realized that Donna Jareau controlled this household. Emily could see James looking at his daughter, almost with pride, trying to lend some silent support. JJ's brothers were looking at each other like they were both wondering which one of them was going to step in and defend their sister. Maggie and Courtney looked so relieved, like they were happy that JJ was home simply so Donna could focus her attention on her for a change.
"Well she's done what she wanted to do. She's proved us all wrong."
JJ got up and walked towards the back of the house. Emily got up to follow her finding that JJ had made her way through the country-style kitchen and out to the back porch where Emily found her standing pinching the bridge of her nose like she always did when she was stressed. Emily just wanted to wrap her arms around her girlfriend and hug her but instead settled on standing beside her and putting her hand on her shoulder.
"All my life, I've just been the pretty girl," JJ started, "Undervalued because I wasn't a boy in a town that values men and considers women to be merely window-dressing. Something pretty to have on your arm. Someone to sleep with. My mother is that for my father. She was the prettiest girl in town, the homecoming queen. A cheerleader and my dad the football hero. That's what she wanted for me. She always entered me in the local beauty contests when I was a child. I hated it. Everyone ogling you, staring at you. I wanted more. I wanted to make something of myself that didn't revolved necessarily around my looks. And my mother always said I would never do it. That I was destined to always just be the pretty girl on someone's arm. That's why I am such a disappointment to her, because I didn't want her life." Emily watched as JJ was just staring off into space not really focusing on any thing in particular. Talking as if no one were listening, tears starting to form in her eyes.
But Emily was listening and she was crushed for JJ. How could your own mother make you feel like that? Emily wanted to pull JJ back over to the car and head back home to where JJ felt valued and important. Instead Emily grabbed the fabric of JJ's sleeve and pulled her in the direction of the "barn" out in the back. Once Emily felt they were out of sight and no one could hear them, she started to speak.
"JJ, look at me. Goddamnit, you are so much more than that and you know it. You've always known it. How can you let your mother make you feel that way? I have issues with my mother, you know that, but it's because she always felt I had more potential not less. She hates my job like your mother hates yours but because she considers me a glorified cop not because I'm not capable of doing the job. UGH!" Emily wanted to scream. Scream at Donna for making JJ feel like crap and scream at JJ for letting her.
"I'm okay, Em. I accepted this from her a long time ago." JJ said as a tear finally fell from her eye and rolled down her cheek.
Emily reached up and wiped the tear away, "God I hate that she has upset you like this, Jayj."
"I'm not upset, Em, I'm pissed. She does this to me every fucking time and it drives me insane. She wonders why I only come home once, maybe twice, a year. If Paul weren't getting married, I wouldn't be here right now. I'd be home with you…or on that getaway weekend we're trying to plan. Why do I let her get to me like this?"
"Because mother's have a way of doing that. They have a spectacular way of getting under our skin. We are both mature, intelligent, successful women with jobs that actually matter in this world and yet, we both let our mother's make us feel like shit. Because they both want something different for us than running around wearing a flak jacket, carrying a gun, and chasing down unsubs. Neither of them understands what it is we do or why it is we do it." Emily said as she pulled JJ into her for a hug.
"UGH! It's just I honestly thought it would be easier with you here. Maybe she would let if be for once if I had someone with me. I guess I was wrong and it is actually harder with you here."
"Because I hate that you have to hear this from her. What her opinion is of me and my job. Your job. I …"
Emily kissed her. Kissed her passionately and with every ounce of love she had for her. Emily didn't give a shit if anyone saw either. In fact, it would have been better if they had because then she could have explained to JJ's mother that JJ had everything that she needed. JJ's job hadn't made her miss out on a thing.
"I've always been very supportive of my daughter, Emily. How dare you say that I haven't," Donna said
Emily was wondering exactly how much Donna would let her say before she decided she needed to speak up. Emily had been waiting for this. Though it was probably going to take way more energy than she had right now, and it wasn't exactly the ideal place for it to occur, both she and JJ had let Donna get away with far too much crap when it came to their relationship…and their son. Emily grabbed JJ's hand for a couple of seconds once more to find the strength and then slowly turned to face Donna.
"Sure you have, Donna," Emily said not even pretending to hide her sarcasm, "As long as JJ did exactly what you wanted her to do. As long as she did your beauty pageants, dated the BMOC, was the Homecoming Queen. As long as people could come up to you and tell you what a beautiful daughter you have. Pay you a compliment."
"Emily, do not speak of what you know nothing about."
"You don't think I know that the only real source of pride you ever got from your daughter was from her beauty? What about everything else that she's accomplished? Do you know how hard she's had to work to get where she is? Your daughter is so impressive in the way she handles herself. She is so smart. She is so confident and self-assured and I'm really not sure how because you sure didn't help her out in that department. You tore her down every chance you got. You undermined every ounce of confidence someone else – her father, her coaches and teachers – have ever tried to give her and yet, she still has it. She has it in spades."
"I don't have to listen to this from you"
"Yes you do. It's about time you heard it from someone. That weekend at Paul's wedding was so hard on her. All weekend long you kept digging and digging at her about what a waste of time working for the FBI was. Asking her when she was going to come home and lead a 'normal' life. You didn't stop. You started up again right after we went back into the house, at the rehearsal dinner, even the next day at the wedding. The only peace she got all weekend long was with me at the hotel in Pittsburgh. And she was so agitated that I wouldn't exactly say she found peace there either."
"Yeah, well I guess I know what you were doing with her in that hotel room, don't I?"
"No, Donna, you don't. You'd like to think you do but you don't. What I did was listen to her talk and rant. You almost broke her, Donna. With your constant belittling. Pointing out at both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding how great Kyle – who was very nice to JJ and apparently very happily married – looked. How the two of them should never have broken up and how you would have loved to celebrate their wedding. Dig after dig, Donna. How she was wasting her life working for the BAU. How pointless it was to chase down serial killers because there was always going to be another one tomorrow. You tried so hard to tear her down. Congratulations Donna, you almost succeeded and if JJ weren't so strong you just may have. You took the intelligent, confidant, self-assured woman that I love and you made her start to doubt herself. And that's why I agreed with her when she made the decision to come clean about our relationship the day after Paul's wedding."
Donna had risen during Emily's tirade and moved closer to the profiler. Emily could see her words had an impact and had pissed Donna off. Emily, never one to be intimidated, had also decided to stand but she calmly faced her mother-in-law with her arms crossed in front of her.
"Did that make you feel better, Emily? Outing our daughter to her family."
"I didn't out her, Donna. It was her decision. She just figured at that point, it didn't seem like she had anything left to lose. You already didn't respect her as a person. It was one more thing for you to be disappointed about."
"It crushed her father."
Emily thought about what had happened the morning after JJ's brother's wedding and, although in the end she was happy that everything had been brought out into the open, she knew JJ had been upset about forever altering the relationship she had with her father.
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